Retired judge criticises courts closure plan

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A RETIRED judge has criticised plans to close courts.

His Honour Judge Anthony Thorpe said he has concerns if cases from Chichester are heard in Portsmouth or Lewes crown courts

He told the BBC: ‘I think it’s just a long way to go and I just have a feeling some people will be deterred as going either as complainants or as witnesses.’

It come as the Ministry of Justice is currently consulting over closure plans for Chichester Crown Court and Fareham Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Thorpe added: ‘It just seems to me a misfortune for this city, and it is the county city, to lose the only crown court in West Sussex.’