Part of our bespoke Aspiring Lawyers Programme, the trip proved incredibly popular with a long-waiting list running for places to observe court room proceedings and gain invaluable insight into the justice system.
Year 12 Grace said: “Upon arrival, we were shown into Court Room 2, where we were mock-assigned court room roles just moments before our ‘real-life’ counterparts would take our place in sentencing. Whilst the legal team took their places and prepared themselves for the morning’s session, we were ushered down to the cells – a place where few find themselves unless awaiting their trial or sentencing.
Some of the Year 10s eagerly volunteered to experience the sinister reality that comes when one is held in custody awaiting their fate in a cell. It was a surreal feeling as we found ourselves back in the court room where we were privileged enough to have a personal Q&A session with His Honour Judge Carr, who, prior to becoming a judge, was barrister in London. In a colourful career, Judge Carr was the defence barrister for Fred West, the notorious Gloucester murderer.
What followed was a morning of sentencing, comprising of two sexual offences, fraud, burglary and grievous bodily harm. It was sobering to experience the true reality of sentencing as opposed to what we have seen in dramatised television.
As the morning’s events drew to a close, we had another short chat with Judge Carr in which he explained the morning’s proceedings and told us he was relieved not to have been the victim of a Cornish hex, particularly common in a Cornish court!
Some of us plan to go back to the court in free periods and observe more as this visit has certainly intensified our interest in pursuing our legal careers.”