A broken-down boiler brought cases grinding to a halt at Hove Crown Court this morning (Monday 2 December).
With no indication of when the heating system could be fixed, the temperatures were too cold to receive prisoners in the basement cells.
A murder trial was among the cases to be delayed although the creaking infrastructure in the building was not the only source of delay.
Some prisoners were diverted to Brighton where a judge was ready to work through the day’s list.
But the prison transport struggled to reach the Edward Street court buildings because of the traffic jams resulting from the closure of the A259 seafront road.
It was closed yesterday after a car was driven into three men at about 5am after a fight.
An hour after one of the cases had been due to start, there was still no sign of a defendant who was being brought from prison.
In one court alone, six barristers, a judge, clerk and support staff were left awaiting updates and able to offer only cold comfort to jurors, victims and others left waiting for justice to be done.