Victims of sexual violence in Northern Ireland are facing a wait of almost two years on average for their cases to reach court.
Figures from the Department of Justice (DoJ) show that in the last year, sexual offence trials typically took 698 days to complete - up from 470 days in 2015/16.
It compares to 123 days for a public order offence and 119 days for a motoring breach.
Meanwhile, the average Crown court case is taking 410 days - six days fewer than 2018/19.
The median time to process a criminal case at all courts was 149 days, down 18 on previously.
This is the second lowest figure recorded in the last five years - it was 143 days in 2014/15.
The statistics on 'Case Processing Time for Criminal Cases' for the year April 1 2019 to March 31 this year refer to the time from which the offence was reported to, or detected by, the police until a verdict is delivered. They also showed an 861-day wait to take summons cases through the Crown court, down by five days - a working week - from the previous year.
Summons cases usually cover lesser crimes, but still include cases like common assault and a wide range of traffic offences.
Waiting times for summons cases in the adult magistrates courts were 178 days (down 11%) and 242 days in youth magistrates courts, a decrease from 265 days in 2018/19.
Charge cases, the most serious offences, saw improvement in the Crown court. Cases here typically take twice as long as in England and Wales.
In adult magistrates courts, the average time increased by two days to 72 while for youth magistrates courts the wait was 117 days, a three day increase.
The DoJ said that the overall picture is that the time taken for cases to be completed has shown an improvement from that recorded in the last few years.
The department added that while change in time taken for the completion of charge cases in 2019/20 varied according to court type, the decrease in processing times for cases dealt with by way of summons showed a consistent improvement for all court types.
UUP MLA Doug Beattie said it was hardly surprising the DoJ data showed an improvement given just how shockingly bad the situation was to begin with.
He added: "The Northern Ireland justice system is in great need of improvement in a whole range of key areas, not least the speed at which justice is dispensed. We have tolerated a lax system here that serves vested interests for far too long and it is time that a concerted effort was made to bring about much needed and long overdue changes."
In March 2020, Christopher Robinson was found guilty of killing prison officer Adrian Ismay — four years earlier.
Mr Ismay had just left his home in east Belfast at around 7am on March 4, 2016 when a device detonated underneath his van after he went over a speed ramp.
The 52-year-old father-of-three died 11 days later.
Robinson (49), from Aspen Walk in Twinbrook, was arrested shortly after the explosion and subsequently charged with murdering Mr Ismay.
Robinson, who did not give evidence in court, was handed a life sentence following the non-jury trial — which was adjourned on several occasions after it opened in October 2018.
Last November, Thomas Griffiths (18) was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court for stabbing his former girlfriend, Ellie Gould to death just six months earlier.
He attacked Gould (17) at her home in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 after she ended their relationship to concentrate on exams.
Before leaving the house, Griffiths “arranged the scene” by placing the victim’s left hand on the handle of the knife to make it appear she had stabbed herself.
Later in the day, he also sent a series of “fake” messages to friends and to Ellie’s mobile phone asking if she wanted to meet.
Her father, Matthew, later returned home from work to discover her body in the kitchen.
Griffiths, who admitted the murder, was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years and six months in prison.