THE Ministry of Justice has denied that the crown court in Warrington is set to close which would result in defendants, victims and witnesses travelling to Chester or Liverpool.

In September 2016, changes were introduced as part of a major shake-up of the criminal justice system in Cheshire and Merseyside with more cases transferred to Liverpool.

Since then, the most serious cases from the north of Warrington have been sent to Liverpool Crown Court.

The remainder of the cases have been heard in front of a judge at either Chester Crown Court or the Legh Street courthouse in Warrington town centre.

This was on top of changes to tribunal hearings with those previously heard in Halton or Warrington magistrates’ courts moved to St Helens County Court.

But a source has told the Warrington Guardian that plans are in the early stages of development to open another court room at one of the existing magistrates or crown courthouses in Chester, meaning crown court cases would no longer be heard in Warrington. 

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “HM Courts and Tribunals Service continues to keep its estate under review and there are currently no plans to close the crown court function at Warrington.”