NEWPORT Magistrates Court had a very different sort of clientele on Saturday, when local schools competed in a mock trial.

The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition gives secondary school pupils a chance to learn about the legal system.

Pupils from years eight and nine in two teams from Croesyceiliog School in Cwmbran and one team from Pontypool’s St Albans competed in the local heat against four other schools from across England and Wales. Winners from St Albans RC High School in Pontypool will go on to compete in the regional heats in May and the national final will be held in June.

Gwent magistrates’ Steve Lucas said it had been a very hectic and enjoyable day with a high standard.

Pupils played the part of every role in the court, from thedefendant, to defence and prosecution. Everything from the opening speeches to the witness statements were strictly timed.

The other schools taking part were Fairlands Middle School, The John of Gaunt School, St Cenydd Community School and Duffryn School, in Port Talbot, which came second.