Legal community says goodbye as court adjourned for final time

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Staff past and present were joined by the High Peak legal community to bring the gavel down on the end of an era at Buxton courthouse.

A gathering was recently held to mark the closure of the Buxton Magistrates’ and County Court on Terrace Road.

More than 120 people attended, many with involvement in the court stretching back decades.

Active and retired magistrates, prosecutors, defence advocates, legal advisors, court staff , clerks, probation officers, and witness support workers were all represented.

The two longest serving magistrates on the bench spoke at the event.

Michael Hilton said: “Instead of sadness at the closure, this should be a celebration of all the things – in reality, the wonderful people, who have made Buxton Courthouse so special.

“Every single person there— and those who could not attend—have all played their part in making Buxton Courthouse something we have been so proud of.”

Hilary Batterbee added glowing tributes to what she called “our wonderful and dedicated court staff.”

She then introduced each member of staff in turn and each received gifts presented by the High Sheriff of Derbyshire Liz Fothergill.

The closure was confirmed earlier this year, despite widespread opposition, as part of a major programme from the Ministry of Justice to rationalise and centralise courts and reduce costs.

According to a ministry report, the court was in use just 27 per cent of the time, at an estimated cost of £90,000 to the taxpayer.

The closure will see cases moved to courts in Chesterfield or Stockport, or handled through online facilities.