Dignitaries from Rutland and further afield witnessed a long-standing tradition as court was held at Oakham Castle.
The Honourable Mr Justice Haddon-Cave oversaw two hearings in the building, which is currently being restored but was opened especially for the occasion on Tuesday (October 6).
Prior to the court session, the High Court judge took part in a procession from the castle to All Saints’ Church for a service of prayer and thanksgiving for those who administer the law.
Oakham Castle is one of the longest continuously-used courts in the country and the service is held every two years to maintain that tradition.
Among the guests on Tuesday were the High Sheriff of Rutland Andrew Brown, along with his counterparts from neighbouring counties; magistrates from the local bench; county and town councillors; senior police, fire and army officers; and the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard.
The procession was welcomed into the church by the Catmose College choir. Oakham School pupil Imogen Brown, the daughter of the High Sheriff, also sang.
Defendants at the castle hearings are rarely from Rutland. One case this year that the judge described as “bizarre” caused amusement among the watching crowd.
Sanjay Chavda, 48, of Markfield Road, Leicester, had already admitted a charge of poisoning with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy after pouring a mix of Mr Muscle and Nando’s Peri Peri sauce into the kettle of a security guard who caught him shoplifting. He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £100.