25th November 1998


A Lincoln man will appear before magistrates on Saturday charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Nothing unusual about that, you may think… but there’s more to this court case than meets the eye.

When Lincoln magistrates sit on Saturday morning (28th November 1998) they will be hearing a case acted out by amateurs who will all be role-playing for the benefit of the video cameras which will be rolling throughout the trial.

It’s all part of a new law degree which students are following at the Lincoln campus of the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside. Various scenes, including the assault itself, have already been filmed, and the university will put the finishing touches to its production by filming the trial itself on Saturday morning.

The finished video will help undergraduates studying for the university’s new law degree to understand the processes involved in bringing a case to court.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court is not normally open for business on Saturdays, but Peter Veits, chief clerk to the justices, is supporting the project by giving the university’s staff and students special dispensation to use the courtroom this weekend.

“We’re filming the case from the assault right through to sentencing, and all the court scenes will be filmed on Saturday,” said Lindsay Cutts of the university’s law department.

“The magistrates and the chief clerk will be genuine, but everyone else will be playing a part. The alleged criminal, the witnesses and the Crown Prosecution Service will all be played either by members of university staff and students or by people connected with the university in some way.

“The atmosphere will be much better in the magistrates’ court and it will look visually more correct than if we filmed it in a lecture theatre,” he said.

And there’s no danger of the fictional villain getting off the hook - the trial has been scripted beforehand and will be closely monitored by the film’s director, Kelsie Aquatias.

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Reporters and photographers wishing to view or photograph the proceedings and interview participants should be sure to arrive at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court in the High Street at 9.30am on Saturday 28th November.

On arrival ask for Lindsay Cutts or Kelsie Aquatias.

For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk