A group of thirteen Members attended an arranged visit to Sunderland Magistrates Court on Wednesday 12th of August. It was a glorious sunny day and we spent a few minutes outside enjoying the sun and looking around Keel Square with its spurting fountains. We chatted away happily until we were lead into the court building, going up the stairs and being ushered through the screening process and into our allotted seats at both side of the heart of the court.
We had two magistrates in attendance, Bill Lindsay and Brian Parkinson. They explained the court procedures to us and were there to answer questions when there was an opportunity to do so.
The Court is a listed building and very impressive with its lovely high ceilinged Court One room which we were privileged to sit and observe the several cases that were judged that morning. There was a variety of cases that passed through the court that day including occasional defendants being brought up into the dock from the cells which are located below the courtroom.
We ended our visit just before 12 noon. We assembled in the corridor for a final chat with our hosts Bill and Brian and exchanged our views as to how our visit had gone.
From the comments at the time and the emails received later I hope that I can conclude that the visit was a success.
Should anyone else who missed the opportunity to attend this session and would like to visit the Court in the future please feel free to contact me and another visit will be arranged.
Thank you to all who attended.