Special court opens in town

A SPECIALIST domestic violence court is set to be opened in Ipswich next week with the aim of improving the legal process for victims.The court, which will be housed at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, will mean domestic violence cases will be heard on specific days and victims will have special provisions to keep them separate from their partners.

A SPECIALIST domestic violence court is set to be opened in Ipswich next week with the aim of improving the legal process for victims.

The court, which will be housed at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, will mean domestic violence cases will be heard on specific days and victims will have special provisions to keep them separate from their partners.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court already has a witness suite which allows victims to enter via a different entrance to the defendant.

It is also possible for them to appear via videolink and not to have to enter the court itself.

Plans to create such a court in Ipswich were revealed in The Evening Star back in July last year when domestic violence groups in Suffolk were planning to launch a bid to the Home Office to bring one of the courts to the town.

Speaking then, Hilary Cadman director of Ipswich Women's Aid, said the court could be a major step forward in increasing conviction rates.

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She said: “It will mean we can have specialist magistrates dealing with an issue that they will have a better understanding about.

“Ipswich had a very positive approach to tackling domestic violence. The Crown Prosecution Service sits on our county forum and liaises with us.”