Court trials to move from Angus to Dundee

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Trials for the most serious crimes which happen in Angus will no longer be heard in a court in the county as of 2017.

As of January, jury trials which would have been heard at Forfar Sheriff Court will be dealt with at Dundee Sheriff Court.

This comes after the closure of Arbroath Sheriff Court in 2014, which led to an increase in the number of cases heard at Forfar.

A spokesman for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) said: “The transition of business in mainland jurisdictions to a number of Sheriff and Jury courts, one of which is Dundee Sheriff Court, was first outlined in the Shaping Scotland’s Courts report of 2013 and was incorporated into the SCTS Corporate plan published in 2014.

“The changes are to be introduced over a 10-year period, as the body of new summary sheriffs becomes established, and are designed to improve the consistency and quality of service in an area, and thereby increase public confidence in the administration of justice.

“The move also offers opportunity to programme and manage strands of business more efficiently.

“It remains the case that the efficient disposal of business within a Sheriffdom is a matter for the Sheriff Principal of that jurisdiction. A consultation meeting was held in Forfar on July 12 at which the new programme and the procedures and arrangements for solemn work in Dundee were discussed with local court users who attended.

“We can confirm that, after consideration, Sheriff Principal Lewis has decided that solemn business from Forfar Sheriff Court will move to Dundee Sheriff Court. First diets will move to Dundee from August of this year and will be managed in Dundee.

“The cases, if proceeding to trial, will go back to Forfar and call in the Forfar Sheriff and Jury sittings until January when all solemn business will move to Dundee.”