Newport magistrates' court officially opened
12:40pm Saturday 7th December 2013 in News
OFFICIAL OPENING: Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, officially opened Newport Magistrates’ Court
NEWPORT Magistrates’ Court was officially opened by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales at a ceremony yesterday.
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said the court was “the most fabulous magistrates court that has been built for some time”.
Located off Lower Dock Street in Pill, the environmentally friendly building replaced the old court house on Clytha Park Road which closed in January last year.
It has four court rooms, a plate glass entrance hall which opens onto Usk Way and a 22-space car park.
It first opened to the public in September.
And it has holding cells which the Lord Chief Justice said were “among the finest” he has seen.
In a speech, he said it was imperative the judiciary adopted modern technology.
He said: “We need to embrace what we use in our everyday lives, such as Skype and FaceTime.”
And in response Michael Mathers-Lee, of the Wales and Chester bar, said there had first been a court in Newport in 1090. He said a sheriff court was first opened in 1473 and a court for justices of the peace was established in 1623.
The ceremony was attended by about 70 people. Among those were the Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, and the Gwent bench chairwoman Penny Reeves.
Keith Evans, on behalf of The Law Society, said that he was sure the building would be “well-utilised”.
The Ministry of Justice said the new layout is “designed to provide access to all”.
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