An MP has urged the government to “leave no stone unturned” to reduce court backlogs saying delays were causing “enormous personal distress and anguish”.

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, highlighted the plight of the victim of historical sex offences who has been waiting almost five years for his alleged abuser to face trial. 

It comes as a debate in the House of Commons heard backlogs in crown courts are rising to “crisis proportions”.

Mr Aldous told MPs: “My constituent originally in 2018 reported a historic rape, the trial has now been postponed four times and is currently scheduled for this June.”

He urged justice minister Mike Freer to tackle backlogs as “in such historic cases justice delayed really can mean justice denied”.

Mr Freer conceded that outstanding caseload “has increased again”.

He said: “The judiciary continue to work to prioritise cases involving custody time limits, as well as prioritising cases involving vulnerable complainants and witnesses, domestic abuse and serious sex cases.

“The judiciary are incredibly sensitive to ensuring that the most sensitive complainants and victims get their day in court as fast as possible.”