Judges’ winning verdict for Letchworth students

STUDENTS from a Letchworth GC school have passed one of the toughest cross examinations after a team of judges delivered their verdict - declaring them regional winners of a mock trial competition.

A total of 12 pupils from Highfield School - clad in real wigs and gowns - competed against seven other schools from across the East of England on Saturday as they put their case forward in Chelmsford Crown Court.

With judges who regularly sit in crown courtrooms picking the winner, the Highfield-based school emerged victorious and the team will now travel to Belfast in March to compete in the national final.

Each school participating in Bar Council’s annual competition were asked to prepare two cases which were sent out in advance, with students filling roles of barristers, witnesses, defendants, court clerks and ushers.

With a barrister offering guidance, teams had to prepare opening and closing statements, become skilled in cross examination as well as the traditions and formalities of a crown court.

The judges bestowed particular praise on four barristers - Oscar Farley (Year 11), Ruby Khela (Year 13), Lucy Pedrick (Year 13) and Remi Beecroft (Year 13) - who were told that the standard they presented was “very similar” to what they would expect to see from newly qualified lawyers.

“This is a fantastic victory for the school and a tremendous opportunity for our students, many of whom are in the process of applying to Oxbridge and other top universities,” said assistant head Richard Spencer, who joined the team on the day after its formation through the Debate Club which he runs every Friday lunchtime.

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The winning team were Remi Beecroft, Christina Farley, Oscar Farley, Charlie Flight, Rachael Hinton, Vit Huang, David Johnson, Palveer Kandola, Ruby Khela, Lucy Pedrick, Victoria Wood and Victoria Wynn.