Magistrates Court report, by Charlie H (Year 6)

Prep School
20 Mar 23

On an exciting Tuesday morning we had the chance to have a wonderful workshop with two kind Magistrates. They told us about a lot of different things such as some different stories of kids who made a bad decision and ended up going to prison and some photos of what prison and court are really like.

They were both magistrates which are unpaid volunteers who have a little bit of training but are not fully qualified judges. They work in the magistrates’ court which is the lower type of court in the UK. The highest form of court in the UK is the crown court which has a jury and government paid officials who are the judges.

There are 3 magistrates in the Magistrates’ Court they have to make the decision whether they are guilty or innocent and they also decide the guilty persons’ punishment. They have a legal advisor to help them with the legal bits of the case, they are fully qualified and are paid by the government. There is a Prosecutor who gathers information fairly to give evidence that they will use to prove the person they are prosecuting is guilty. The defendant is hired by the person who is being prosecuted and will question everything the Prosecutor is saying and make sure their evidence is gathered fairly and finally the prosecuted are put in what is called the dock where they are guarded in a bullet proof glass cage by security guards and if they are found innocent they have to wait till a member of the court unlocks the door but if they are found guilty they were taken out of a backdoor straight into the basements and into the cells. They told us some stories of young people who got sent to prison which helped to make us realise how easily people might make bad decisions or be influenced by others.

To conclude, it was a very interesting workshop which made the world feel quite daunting but gave me a taste of what prison was like and some interesting examples of stories. So thank you for coming to SVPS and giving us this wonderful workshop.