Tayside and Central Scotland

Jury trials to end at Forfar Sheriff Court

Forfar Sheriff Court
Image caption Forfar Sheriff Court is the only sheriff court in Angus

Forfar Sheriff Court will stop conducting jury trials at the end of this year, with cases being transferred to Dundee.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) said the decision was part of changes to improve the "consistency and quality of service."

Trials heard before a sheriff only will continue to be held at Forfar.

Forfar is the only sheriff court in Angus, following the closure of Arbroath Sheriff Court in 2014.

Solemn cases - those held before a jury - will call at Forfar Sheriff Court until January.

A Dundee Sheriff Court source told BBC Scotland: "Solemn business at Dundee is very efficient at the moment.

"I don't see any issues. If there were any, it would be around accommodation, like the number of interview rooms and cells available, and witnesses having to travel."

A SCTC spokesman said: "A consultation meeting was held in Forfar on 12 July at which the new programme and the procedures and arrangements for solemn work in Dundee were discussed with local court users who attended.

"We can confirm that, after consideration, Sheriff Principal Lewis has decided that solemn business from Forfar Sheriff Court will move to Dundee Sheriff Court.

"First diets will move to Dundee from August of this year and will be managed in Dundee.

"The cases, if proceeding to trial, will go back to Forfar and call in the Forfar sheriff and jury sittings until January when all solemn business will move to Dundee."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites