Students take to the stand in trial

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STUDENTS from Brighouse High School Sixth Form have appeared in court.

But it was part of the Bar Council Citizenship Mock Trial Team competition of 2012.

The six form centre was one of 16 schools that competed in the regional heat that involved a team of students taking on the roles of barristers, witnesses, an usher, a court clerk and a jury consisting of six members.

The team prepared for two cases, then on the day at Leeds Combined Court the team split into the defence and prosecution to face another school, meaning the barristers are questioning students from the other school.

The two cases were the possession of a class B drug by an athlete in the run up to the Olympics and the second the possession of a firearm.

The first trial included the defence team against Immanuel College – Tyler Barr and Aaron Beaumont taking the role of the barristers, Jess McEvoy as the defendant, Daisy Crossley as the witness and Olivia Sayers as the usher. The highlight was how Daisy submersed herself into the role of an Olympic athlete and when being cross examined passionately swore she would never lie while she was under oath.

The second trial also included the defence team against Scarborough College, but this time with Daisy as the defendant, Olivia as the witness and Rebecca Richardson as the usher.

Student Charlotte Owens said: “They all did brilliantly, but Tyler and Aaron in particular were fantastic in their confidence and presentation (barristers do both an opening and closing speech) and in fact managed to force the witness under cross examination into agreeing with everything they said.”

The prosecution team then went up against Barnsley College – Charlotte Owens and Sam Caldwell as the barristers, Emily Lister and Lauren Senior as the witnesses and Rebecca as the court clerk.

Charlotte added: “Although the jury found the defendant not-guilty, the real life judge explained how he would have immediately convicted him after the defendant actually confessed his guilt under cross examination. Our performance in this trial also received high praise from our real life barrister mentor who kindly gave up his time to assist us.

“Following a long, tiring but rewarding day, we finally heard the results. Although our team did not win, we personally are extremely proud of our hard work and our vast improvement due to many, many rehearsals. We even remained behind at college until 5pm, two times a week and did extra work in our own time.

“We would all agree that it has increased our confidence and given us a deeper understanding of the British legal system. Personally, this was my third time participating in the competition and I would strongly encourage other students to become involved as through learning more about the job of a barrister, I now hope to follow a career in law. The team would like to thank Mr Bell and Mr Firth.”