ROGUES FROM THE PAST IN THE DOCK; Ladies of Easy Virtue, Thieves and Vagabonds on Trial as Warwick's Old Court Hears Real Cases from History

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Byline: Marion McMullen

LOOSE women, vagabonds and thieves from down the centuries are heading back to court tomorrow to be put on trial ... again. Judge and jury will be waiting to pass judgment on the historical culprits as the old Warwick Crown Court opens for business once more.

The court rooms fell silent last year when the crown court was closed after dispensing justice for centuries - but the Grade I listed building will be back in session tomorrow.

Sentences will be handed out to the 'guilty' as The Slaughterhouse Players move in to stage A Grand Assize. They will be reenacting fascinating real-life trials from the 18th and 19th centuries. The scripts are based on original transcripts from the County Records Office.

Mayor of Warwick Trudy Offer is among those eagerly awaiting the one-night special.

She said: "Many of us who live in and love Warwick have long been waiting for life to be breathed back into the old Warwick Crown Courts and Judge's House. As mayor, I am delighted to be working with The Slaughterhouse Players to give those who would come an experience of court cases past."

Members of the audience are being encouraged to dress in the fashions of the time and take part in the rowdy court proceedings.

Twelve will also be chosen at random to be the jury and deliver the verdict on the trials before them. …