Keswick School win North of England Mock Trial competition

Keswick School participated in the Citizenship Foundation North of England Mock Trial competition at Newcastle Crown Courts on Saturday 12th November. The students had been practising for the competition since the beginning of term, perfecting their legal arguments and witness statements in preparation for a challenging experience.

The team was made up of 17 students from Years 11 to 13. This included 2 prosecution barristers, 2 defence barristers, 4 witnesses, an usher, a court clerk, 5 jurors, a court reporter and a court artist. They were supported by Mrs Avery (Head of Careers) and Mrs Thomas (Head of RPE) and two barristers from Dere Street Barristers, Newcastle.

Eight schools were competing for a place in the national mock trial finals. In the first round Keswick defended case 1 and went head to head with local rivals, Cockermouth School. The court found resoundingly in favour of the defence! In round 2 Keswick prosecuted case 2 against Durham Sixth Form College and in the final round Keswick prosecuted case 1 against St Joseph’s Catholic Academy.

When all the rounds had finished, all the schools piled into one courtroom where the finalists were announced. These were Keswick School against St Bede’s Catholic Academy and Sixth Form College, Durham. 

The final was a hard fight. Keswick’s defence barristers did a fantastic job and the witnesses, Ellie Dalton and Laura Wilson, stood up to some fierce cross examination. Usher Josh Pattinson impressed the judge when he strode across the room to prod a dozing juror!

Ultimately the panel of judges gave Keswick the win! The students received certificates and a shield and will now go forward to the national finals at London’s Old Bailey Court in March 2017.