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PCC welcomes special judges for child sex abuse trials

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Sue Mountstevens has described the move by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge for child sex abuse trials to be assigned special judges as a ‘significant step forward.’

A core batch of judges will get additional specialist training to deal with child sex abuse trials and where a witness is considered to be 'significantly' vulnerable.

The announcement was made by Lord Judge in a four-page letter to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz MP.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "I have listened to many sexual abuse victims who tell me about their traumatic and testing time at court.

“We need to do all we can to make sure young, vulnerable witnesses have access to specialists who can appropriately guide and support them through the court process.

“Making sure trained judges deal with the most complex of cases, particularly those involving vulnerable young victims and multiple-defendants, is a significant step forward in the right direction."

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge resisted recommendations from the House of Commons' Home Affairs Select Committee that specialist courts be created to deal with allegations or sex offences.

 

Posted on Wednesday 7th August 2013
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