Retiring Sunderland magistrate blasts Government over legal aid cuts

Retired Margistrate George Brown, of Ashbrooke, Sunderland.
Retired Margistrate George Brown, of Ashbrooke, Sunderland.
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AFTER four decades of loyal service, a retiring magistrate has spoken out about controversial Government cuts to legal aid.

At 29, grammar school teacher George Brown, from Sunderland, was one of the youngest people to take up the respected post of Justice of the Peace, starting in Houghton.

Aged 70, he has ended his term as the longest-serving magistrate at Sunderland, in both criminal and family courts.

Now George hopes the legal system will live on, saying: “Justice is such an important part of democracy, and it is essential that justice is not only done but manifestly seen to be done.

“I fully appreciate that whichever government is in power, we are short of money, but this is not an area where we should be saving. It is absolutely crucial and the mark of true democracy.

“Whichever government is in power as of June next year, the problem will remain, that you have got to provide sufficient money so that vulnerable people are protected.”

The keen photographer and musician, who lives in Ashbrooke, also wants to see work start on Sunderland’s long-awaited new court buildings.

“Sunderland is a city with a large population, and it is essential that services are retained.”

He added: “I hope that money is found as soon as possible to build the combined court.”