PUPILS from Worcestershire schools have tested out their legal skills in the Schools Mock Trial competition.

The annual competition was held at Worcester Magistrates Court and included students aged 12 to 14 from 10 schools across the county.

The pupils competed against each other in a specially written case in which the defendant is accused of dishonestly receiving a stolen bicycle.

They played the parts of the magistrates, the prosecution and defence lawyers, the defendant, witnesses and court officials, with their performances judged by local magistrates and other legal professionals.

Taking part were students from Christopher Whitehead Language College, Worcester, Droitwich Spa High School, Tenbury Wells High School as well as Aston Fields Middle School, North Bromsgrove High School and St John's Middle School, all in Bromsgrove.

Pupils from Prince Henry's High School, Evesham, the King Charles 1 school in Kidderminster, The Bewdley High School and Alcester Academy also joined in.

Aston Fields Middle School won the Worcestershire heat and will now go forward to the regional finals in Nottingham in May.

Runners up were Prince Henry’s High School Evesham, and 3rd prize went to King Charles 1 School, Kidderminster.

The cup for best student bench of magistrates was won by Christopher Whitehead Language College, Worcester, and the most outstanding pupil award went to Tom Parkin, from Prince Henry’s.

After the event, awards were presented at Worcester Crown Court by Judge Robert Juckes.

Peter John, group editor of Midlands Newsquest, presented the press cup for best court reporter to Eleanor Bedford from Aston Fields, and the best court artist award went to Gaby Kranson-Smith from Prince Henry’s, presented by local artist Richard Crabtree.

The Schools Mock Trials competition is organised by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association.

Around 6,000 students from 400 schools across the country are taking part this year when they will find out about the legal system, and practise their public speaking, analysis techniques and teamwork.

The Worcestershire heat was held on Saturday, March 8.