TALENTED pupils from 11 Worcestershire schools became prosecutors, magistrates, defendants and journalists for the day during a mock trial competition.

The students battled it out during the competition, which was held at Worcester Magistrates Court on Saturday.

The annual competition is run by the Citizen Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association, and is designed to enable students to learn about the criminal justice system. This year the pupils, aged between 12 and 14-years-old, played out the case of a defendant stood accused of being in possession of a bladed article.

After the morning session, everyone attended a ceremony at Worcester Crown Court where prizes were given out by his honour, Judge Robert Juckes QC.

The overall winning team was city school Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, with the runner up named as Evesham-based Prince Henry's High School - which also won the best magistrates bench prize.

Students from both schools will now prepare for a new case at a regional final in May, with the winner of that heat moving on to the national final, which is this year being held at the Victoria Law Courts in June.

Nina Reid, from Prince Henry's, received the trophy for most outstanding pupil, while highly commended in that category were Madeline Hedgecott, from Prince Henry's, Elizabeth Thomas from The Bewdley School, and Leila Whitehouse from Droitwich Spa High School.

Youngsters were also able to have a go at being a court reporter, with pupils challenged to write their own report of the trial. The winner of that competition was Beth Jones, of St John's Middle School in Bromsgrove, chosen by Worcester News reporter Sam Greenway.

Daniel Newton, from Blessed Edward, also won the best court artist cup.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, who helped fund the event, said: "The competition is a really good opportunity for young people to learn about the criminal justice system.

"Hopefully all those taking part found it fun and informative, and that is will give them an insight into why they wouldn't want to be in court themselves and having to take the stand."