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Solicitors outline reasons why Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court should be kept open

Potential closure of Lowestoft Magistrates Court.

Picture: James Bass

Potential closure of Lowestoft Magistrates Court. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court has been earmarked for closure - but solicitors who work in the area believe there are several reasons for keeping it open.

Solicitor Martin Clarke, from Powleys Solcitors in Grove Road, Lowestoft, said: “The main issue is that if you’ve got a single mother or elderly lady who’s got to give evidence, it will be even more stressful if they’ve got to go to Norwich or Ipswich.

“It makes the difference between someone going or not. It means if someone is guilty of an offence or a victim, they might not get justice.”

Technology means that more cases can be heard by videolink - but Mr Clarke said: “I don’t like video evidence.

“I think people come across better when they give evidence in person. When they’re on a screen, it is like they could just be on an episode of EastEnders.

Richard Mann, from Breydons Solicitors, added: “A large proportion of the magistrates at Lowestoft actually live in the Lowestoft area. They are the ones who wannt Lowestoft controlled, want to look after it and make it a safe place to live in.

“If things are being sent to Norwich, the Norwich magistrates do not have that local connection.”


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