Debra Blood, the criminal business manager for Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, has received a High Sheriff’s award from Charlie Bagot Jewitt High Sheriff of Staffordshire for her work in keeping Court business going throughout the pandemic.
From the moment that lockdown was imposed, Deb set up various types of remote hearings and assisted staff and the judiciary. She spearheaded the work done to re-open the courts when the restrictions were eased and is presently supervising the arrangements for jury trials.
Throughout this period her attitude has always been “can do”, and her enthusiasm and commitment are infectious. As well as supervising Crown Court business she has found time to give training to county court staff and judges in relation to the available technology, and played a massive part in ensuring that Stoke remains firmly in the minds of her HM Courts and Tribunal Service superiors when it comes to the work that needs to be carried out to facilitate jury trials. She has not been averse to doing quite a lot of physical work herself e.g. measuring and marking out the building and individual courts, taping off areas, marking out flooring to ensure distancing and moving furniture.