HM Courts & Tribunals Service has apologised after a Gazette reporter was thrown out of Edmonton County Court in north London in contravention of the agency’s own guidance to staff.
Earlier this week Monidipa Fouzder was told by a security guard at Edmonton she should have written to the court manager seeking permission to be in the building. She was also rebuked for not telling the security guard that she was a journalist - seemingly a first in respect of court access problems encountered by the media.
HMCTS guidance from 2018 states that HMCTS has a ’clear interest and obligation to encourage and facilitate’ media access to the courts and tribunals.
In a tweet to Fouzder this morning, HMCTS said: ’Thanks for your patience while we looked into this. It’s clear our security officer on duty made a mistake, & you should never have been asked to leave the building. Please accept our apologies for asking you to leave, & for the manner in which this was done.’
The agency added that it will provide refresher training to security guards at the venue.
Fouzder attended the court with the aim of investigating concerns about dubious characters going to court to prey on vulnerable individuals.