West Sussex pupils act as magistrates in mock trial competition

Nine schools took part in this year’s mock trial competition, organised by the magistrates of West Sussex.

The children had to act as magistrates, having heard a trial, which was acted out at Worthing Magistrates’ Court by the JPs and a student council member.

Worthing youth mayor Jimi Taylor with the winning team from Rustington Community Primary School

Worthing youth mayor Jimi Taylor with the winning team from Rustington Community Primary School

Simon Thorpe, one of the organisers, said: “All of the children and accompanying teachers felt that the activity was very worthwhile and that it made the young people realise the value of reflecting on evidence and judging all the parts of a case.

“Magistrates in the Community has a specific group that go voluntarily into primary and secondary schools and give presentations about law and order.”

Almost 1,000 children in 19 schools have had presentations this year and the nine schools involved in the competition were Aldingbourne Primary, Chesswood Junior, Durrington Junior, Ferring CE Primary, Lancing College Prep Worthing, Orchards Junior, Rustington Community Primary, Thakeham Primary and Vale School.

Worthing youth mayor Jimi Taylor awarded the trophy to the winning school, Rustington Community Primary.

Richard Cohen, chairman of West Sussex Magistrates’ Association, said: “Many thanks are due to all the magistrates who gave up their time for this brilliant occasion, and to all the children for their participation and efforts – perhaps many will grow up and become JPs themselves?”