Crown court closes

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DORCHESTER’S crown court has closed with those called up for jury service, or on trial, now having to travel to Bournemouth.

Tributes were paid at the final sitting to court staff and others who have played a part in the administration of justice in the county town’s crown court since 1955.

Local Advocate, Tim Shorter, described the closure as a travesty: “It is, in my view, another example of the removal of public services from the public they are supposed to be serving.”

Judge Peter Johnson said the court was probably the friendliest in the country and his favourite.

He paid tribute to the court staff including court clerk Laura Clayton, usher Chris Thompson and administration officer Allaina Kempson – presenting each with a bouquet.

Hoping that the court would one day re-open he said he was concerned for people who would now have to travel to Bournemouth for hearings – commenting that the maintenance of law and order also required justice to be accessible.

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