Monday 1st November saw the second Court Service, marking the opening of the Michaelmas Term at the Crown Court in Stafford. While we were still socially distanced within St Mary’s Collegiate Church, the traditional processions could take place, firstly from the County Building to the church, and afterwards from the church to the courts, with the usual escort of Police Halbardiers along a route lined by the Signals Division, MOD Stafford.
We were unable to enter the courtroom itself, due to Covid-19 restrictions, but HHJ Christina Montgomery spoke eloquently in the Foyer about the continued work of the courts during Covid-19.
On this occasion the High Sheriff’s Lunch for about fifty guests at the County Buildings was able to go ahead by kind permission of the Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Cllr Paul Snape. I was delighted that the Lord Lieutenant, Chief Constable Emma Barnett, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Jim Bywater, the Governors of HMP Swinfen Hall, HMP Stafford and HMYOI Brinsford were able to attend, along with the Mayors of Stafford and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and the Chairs of South Staffordshire and The Moorlands District Councils.