Twelve Ridgeway students took part in a national competition in which they assumed the roles of participants in a mock trial, run by the Citizenship Foundation. Our pupils travelled to Mold Magistrates’ Court and played the part of lawyers, witnesses, defendants and magistrates, and competed against school from across the north west.
In the first round, our prosecution team, led by the amazing Jonty Hughes, went up against Upton Hall School. Through skilful questioning, Jonty and Olivia Wallace were able to argue that their “defendant” was guilty of the crime of which they were accused, which in this case was the theft of a mobile phone. This round was held in a full crown court, which did not worry our legal team, and allowed them to rise to the challenge. Despite brilliant questioning, our legal team narrowly lost the first round. The judge did, however, comment on Jonty’s razor-sharp arguments, which left the defendant speechless.
In the second round, our team defended against Litherland High School from Liverpool. While their prosecution team was confident and determined, our defence team, led by the brilliant Taylor Kendall, successfully demonstrated that our defendant, Georgia Hytner, was not guilty. This was a relief for Georgia, as she was worried she would have to spend a night in the cells if she was found guilty! What won the case for us was Taylor’s fantastic closing speech, in which she set out the details of the case in such a clear and simple way that it only took the magistrates a matter of minutes to reach a verdict. Taylor said afterwards that she felt “very proud” of what she achieved and that taking part in the mock trial has given her a huge boost in confidence. Another student, Connor Styring, said that he was not too bothered if we won or lost, as he had enjoyed the experience so much.
Over the course of the day, our pupils experienced many emotions, highs and lows, but above all they managed to impress the other schools and the judging panel. It was a very valuable experience for all those who took part and the team can’t wait for next year’s competition.