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Sunday 13 Jul 2014

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Justice: introduction

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Bob Pugh (Doctor Who, Accused) and Gary Mavers (Casualty, Peak Practice) star in a new BBC One Daytime drama, Justice, set and filmed in Liverpool. They are joined by Gillian Kearney (Casualty, Shameless) and Jake Abraham (Holby City, Lock Stock), in this compelling new series.

When the groundbreaking Dovefield Public Justice Centre opens, this one-stop shop for crime and punishment and its charismatic front man, Judge Paddy Coburn (Pugh), seem like the answer to all of the area's problems.

But with many in the community instinctively suspicious of authority, the local paper keen to delve into the Judge's past and every case bringing a whole new story, it soon becomes clear that Coburn's up against more than he could ever have imagined, in this state-of-the-nation drama series for BBC One Daytime.

After 40 years away from his hometown, Judge Patrick Coburn has returned to Dovefield, Liverpool to set up the Public Justice Centre. No ordinary court, the PJC does away with wigs and wood panelling and takes a problem-solving approach to crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour in an unloved part of town.

The Dovefield PJC is nothing like the traditional idea of a British Crown Court, most of which have yet to shake off the dusty, establishment reputation that has gathered over centuries.

Judge Coburn can send offenders to prison like any other judge – but he also has a range of unconventional programmes at his disposal; community reparation projects, educational workshops and drug treatment.

The open-plan offices force a wide-range of services to sit cheek by jowl – uniquely the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Probation Service, Youth Offending Team sit on adjacent desks, along with drug, alcohol, housing and debt advisors.

Established probation officer Joe Gateacre (Mavers) is his right hand man. With his connections and tough reputation, he is instrumental in getting the local community to trust the Judge.

Despite being originally from the local area, Judge Coburn is yet to engage with the local community, who are all suspicious of this new initiative.

The judicial establishment see the centre as a "woolly liberal" money drain and want their power back. But Judge Coburn isn't interested in targets or budgets; he wants to see beyond the statistics and find the human stories behind the crimes.

The Judge and his team have an uphill task trying to spread the word about positive, constructive community justice; this is all about second chances, taking responsibility for your own actions and helping others.

Local journalist Louise Scanlon (Kearney) and career criminal Jake Little (Abraham) quickly prove to be thorns in Coburn's side. Will the Judge be able to defend his reputation and save the Public Justice Centre from collapsing, or will he be unable to stop the past from catching up with him?

Notes to Editors

Alongside Justice, BBC Daytime will show Neighbourhood Blues, a new observational documentary series following the work of a new task force tasked with tackling the enduring problem of housing estate crime.

Neighbourhood Blues is also due for transmission in Spring 2011 and is a Raw Cut Television production for the BBC. The executive producer for the BBC is Pam Cavannagh and Steve Warr is executive producer for Raw Cut.

Justice is also being simulcast on BBC One HD on Freesat channel 108, Freeview channel 50, Sky channel 143 and Virgin Media channel 108.

CM4

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