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26 June, 2006

Devon School Wins Magistrates Court Mock Trial Grand Final

Students from Colyton Grammar School in Devon have fought off fierce competition from over 300 schools nationwide to win this year’s Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition. Having made it through local and regional heats, the school battled it out against 16 schools in the National Grand Final, held at Trafford Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 24 June. Assumption School from County Down were this year’s runners up.

Colyton Grammer School, winner of the Magistrates' Mock Trial Competition 2006.
Colyton Grammer School with the winner's trophy
The pupils took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff to argue a case for the defense and a case for the prosecution in a real court setting. The teams took part in two trials, one concerning joyriding and the other a racially aggravated assault at a football match between England and Scotland. The winners were awarded prizes by local Magistrate and Hollyoaks producer Daran Little. “As a Magistrate I think this is a fantastic competition. Learning about the role of Magistrates doesn’t really appeal to young people, so seeing all these young people here today is really encouraging.” He added “it’s good to see young people on the right side of the court!”

Colyton Grammar teacher Frances Allen, said “We were really please to win as the standard this year was very good. This really is a great competition and all the students have got so much out of it. They have developed much more confidence and poise, which shows not just in the competition but in their other lessons and everyday lives.”

Tabby Barnes-Harris, pupil from the winning team added “As PC McGregor, I really enjoyed having the chance to learn about the law and be authoritative. Getting to the final and coming up to Manchester was all really exciting. We are so happy to have won.”

The competition, run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association, aims to demystify the law for 12-14 year olds by providing first hand experience of the legal system. The grand final was opened by the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Mrs Vivien Ward and Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation. The Closing address was given by David Greensmith, Director of Legal Services, Justices Clerk for Greater Manchester, and President of the Justices Clerk Society.

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