Trial but no error for school team

Anne Puddephat and Helen Fentum with the Duchess's Community High School team that is in the final of the Magistrates' Mock Trial Competition. Picture by Jane Coltman
Anne Puddephat and Helen Fentum with the Duchess's Community High School team that is in the final of the Magistrates' Mock Trial Competition. Picture by Jane Coltman

Twelve pupils from the Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick will be heading to the Royal Courts of Justice to compete in the Magistrates’ Mock Trial Competition national final on June 15.

The students, aged 12 to 14, take part in mock trials inside magistrates’ courts and crown courts using specially written cases, in the roles of magistrates, defendants, witnesses, lawyers, legal advisers and ushers, giving them an opportunity to gain knowledge and awareness of the legal system and how it works.

The 16 finalist schools have all competed in mock trials across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. With only four weeks between the regional heats and the final, it has been a busy time for the team and the teachers.

No funding was available for the competition so the team appealed to the local community to help get to London.

Thanks to the generosity of parents, Coun Gordon Castle, Northumberland Estates and Alnwick Rotary, the team is now ready to travel to the capital to take on the other teams in the final.