SCHOOL pupils from across Cirencester swapped the classroom for the courtroom this week as they took part in the town’s annual mock trials.

Now in its ninth year, eight primary schools from in and around Cirencester had their day in court and battled it out as either defendants or prosecutors.

The mock trials, which featured pupils from Cold Aston, Powell’s, Watermoor, Coberley, Southrop, Stratton, Chesterton and Hatherop, were held in the Bingham Gallery on Tuesday, March 4 with more scheduled to take place on Friday.

Real life magistrate and event organiser Rennie Thompson told the Standard that the trials are a good way of getting pupils interested in the law.

“This sort of thing is such a benefit for the children. It develops their understanding of the justice system and, for many, it will be their first introduction of it,” she said.

“Of course the children have a lot of fun with it too. If they’re enjoying themselves then they will be more likely to learn new things.”

As well as magistrates and local police officers, the trials were attended by dignitaries such as the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Hugh Tollemache and Cirencester’s deputy mayor Mark Harris.

For a comprehensive round up of the winning teams from the 2014 mock trials, pick up a copy of next week’s Standard.