HEREFORDSHIRE students have appeared in court to showcase their knowledge of the criminal justice system in a mock trial.

The competition was organised by the Citizenship Association and the Magistrates Association and local secondary schools were invited to take part.

Teams of 12 or 13 pupils from six schools arrived at Hereford Magistrates Court earlier this month to carry out mock trials on each of the other teams.

The students took on a role of either a magistrate, solicitor, witness, defendant, legal advisor, usher, court reporter or court artist.

Joe Helme, the Hereford co-ordinator of the competition said: "I think it went well, it always really amazes me how confident and able the students are and they did extremely well.

"Each school asked students from years' eight and nine if they were willing to take part and each team competed against the other."

Team members were scored invidually and the team with the highest score won the competition and will go onto the regional final at Cardiff.

The schools which took part were: Weobley High School, Aylestone High, Wyebridge Sports college, Lady Hawkins, Whitecross High School and Dene Magna Community School.

The winning team was Lady Hawkins school and the runners-up were Aylestone school who may be eligible to compete in the regional final if their score is high enough.

In Herefordshire the teams also won extra prizes, including best group of magistrates, best prosecution lawyers, best defence lawyers and best legal advisor.

As a mememto of their participation in the mock trial, students were given copies of To Kill a Mocking Bird' by Harper Lee which was funded by the Hereford city and Hereford Wye Valley Rotary clubs.