End of an era as court closes doors

AFTER 400 years of dispensing justice in north Northumberland, Alnwick Magistrates Court has heard its last case and is closing its doors.

The landmark moment came on Friday, when chairman of the bench Terry Broughton formally concluded business before the transfer of business to Bedlington and Berwick, which will now deal with all proceedings.

He said: “It is a very sad day that after 400 years of there being a court held in Alnwick, this will be the last one. In these times of austerity, a lot of changes are being made, but this one really was a decision to save money.

“We made a robust case to save this court, as to why it will be a massive inconvenience to the public. There is a 70-mile distance between the two courts left covering north Northumberland, yet on Tyneside there are four with just a few miles of each other.

“My first hearing on the bench was in 1990 and I am very sad to be at the last.”