Start of legal year

DIGNITARIES took part in a ceremony to mark the official opening of the legal year.

Vice-chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, and his consort, Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, were among those who took part in the procession at Teesside Crown Court.

The dignitaries were led by Cleveland Police’s Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer as they walked from Middlesbrough Town Hall to the court to mark the occasion on Monday.

Councillors, mayors, high sheriffs and under sheriffs all joined the group at the entrance to see Her Majesty’s Court Judge, the Hon Mrs Justice Parker, accompanied by her clerk, Mr Chris Mills, arrive at the front of the building by car to a fanfare by the trumpeters of the Cleveland Police Band.

Everyone then moved on to court one where the Letters Patent - which grants the court its powers - were read by a court official.

Temp Chf Cons Cheer said: “It was an honour to take part in the procession for the Letters Patent ceremony at Teesside Crown Court.

“The official opening of court sessions at Teesside Crown Court is an extremely important part of the Justice System, and integral to the work we do as a police force, together with our partner agencies, to bring criminals to justice.”