Law-abiding children

PRIMARY school pupils came face to face with magistrates - but fortunately it was in the classroom and not in court.

Hartlepool magistrate John Jenkins and former magistrate Alan Bell visited Throston Primary School, in the town, to explain to them how the court system works and how different crimes are punished.

Throston Primary school pupils with Hartlepool Magistrate John Kenkins

Throston Primary school pupils with Hartlepool Magistrate John Kenkins

The visit takes place every year with the Year 5 pupils, some who have already turned 10, the age of criminal responsibility, and others who have an upcoming birthday.

Mark Atkinson, headteacher at the school, in Flint Walk, said: “Every year we invite the magistrates along to explain to the children what is right and wrong and the consequences of carrying out crimes.

“It’s all about making sure the children are good citizens and making them aware of what will happen they’re not.

“The children find out more about crimes and the difference between a Crown Court and a Magistrates’ Court but the visit also links into history as well because the magistrates talk about punishments today and compare those to the very severe punishments of the past.”

Mr Atkinson said the youngsters always enjoy the day and believes the visit gives the children a good grounding ahead of moving into Year 6 and then on to secondary school.

He added: “The children get a lot out of it. We have done it for quite a few years and it’s always been a success. It’s very kind of our visitors to give up their time to come along as well.”