South West Wales

Magistrate quits over Carmarthen court closure

Carmarthen Law Courts Image copyright Geograph/Ruth Sharville
Image caption Carmarthen Law Courts are housed in the guildhall

A long-serving Carmarthen magistrate has quit in protest at the decision to close the town's courts.

The Ministry of Justice announced on Thursday Carmarthen Law Courts would be among 10 courts in Wales to close.

The UK government says 97% of people could drive to court within one hour.

But Richard Goodridge, who has done the job for 16 years, said magistrates, witnesses and defendants will face great difficulty in reaching courts from remote rural areas.

"Over the last 30 years, we've had Cardigan, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandovery, Ammanford, Whitland, St Clears, Narberth and Haverfordwest - all these courthouses have been closed and sold off to the highest bidder," the former mayor told BBC Radio Wales.

"It's been a travesty of justice and a justice that no longer exists in the local community."

Closing courts

  • Brecon Law Courts
  • Bridgend Law Courts
  • Carmarthen Law Courts (The Guildhall)
  • Dolgellau Crown and Magistrates' Court
  • Holyhead Magistrates' Court
  • Llangefni Civil and Family Court
  • Neath and Port Talbot Civil and Family Court
  • Pontypridd Magistrates' Court
  • Prestatyn Magistrates' Court
  • Wrexham Tribunal (Rhyd Broughton)

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