On Saturday 18th November 2017 at Leeds Combined Court Centre, a team of 15 students from Prior Pursglove College took part in the Leeds Heat of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition. The competition allows teams to battle out mock criminal trials in real crown courts, in order to gain an insight into the inner workings of the criminal justice system. Students from 16 schools and colleges took on the roles of barristers and witnesses and presented their case against teams from other schools and colleges. Their performances were judged by Circuit Judges and practising barristers. The prize for the winning team from the regional heat is a place in the national final held at the Old Bailey in London.
Team Prior faced very stiff competition from Sale Grammar School, Wyke College and Huddersfield New College. The judges commented on the extremely high standard displayed by all teams. Several students were singled out for praise by the judges for their confident performances under extreme pressure.
Student, Ben Lett said “Taking part in the mock trial allowed me to gain confidence in public speaking as well as develop my understanding of court proceedings. I really enjoyed the experience and the teamwork behind it”. Law Teacher, Kate Barnett, said “I competed in the competition when I was a student and it did wonders for my confidence so I just want to give our students the same chance. Although they did not reach the final, I am immensely proud of the performances of each and every member of the team. They did themselves and the college proud and got some amazing feedback from the judges. I am certain that this will not be the last time they appear in court as advocates.”