Norfolk pupils take part in mock trial

Norfolk pupils have been among those pitting their wits against each other in their own courtroom drama.

The 12 to 14-year-olds took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff to participate in the 17th annual Magistrate's Court Mock Trial competition.

Teams from four of Norfolk's schools took part in the day at Norwich Magistrates' Court, including Springwood High School in King's Lynn, the Thetford Academy, the Open Academy, in Heartsease, Norwich, and Wymondham College – which won the day and goes through to the regional final.

This year's case dealt with domestic violence with teams competing against other schools in the setting of a real courtroom, taking on the roles of both prosecution and defence. Their performance was judged by real magistrates and legal professionals.

Sue Cant, futures co-ordinator at the Open Academy and who has also been a magistrate for five years, said: 'They have learnt a lot about the law and their confidence has really grown. They have to think on their feet, to speak in front of people and they have had an exciting time.'

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David Carrier, justices' clerk for Norfolk, said: 'Each year the students surprise themselves and the staff about what they can do and how much they can improve. The performances delivered on the day are often at a level they never imagined at the start of this.'

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