A FORMER school headteacher has retired from her role as a Powys magistrate after serving in the role for more than a quarter of a century.

JP Judith Baker retired from the Montgomeryshire bench earlier this month, having served on it for 26 years.

It is a second retirement for Ms Baker, who retired as a school teacher six years ago. She was formerly head at Montgomery Church in Wales School.

Ms Baker has been a familiar face in north Powys for many years, and her name has regularly appeared in the county times as she has often occupied the role of chair of the bench at weekly Welshpool Magistrates’ Court hearings.

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Her last official day as chair took place on Tuesday, October 3.

Fellow JP Stephen Pembroke said: “At the beginning of October magistrates gathered to say farewell to Judith Baker, who has retired from the Montgomeryshire bench.

“Judith had been sitting on the bench for 26 years and sat on the adult criminal bench as well as the youth bench for the past 20 years.

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“Judith was a schoolteacher until her retirement six years ago as head of two local schools and she managed to work hard in her career as well as fully supporting the courts, formerly in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool.

“As well as her sittings she also sat on various committees and was a true supporter of magistrates in the community, where two or three magistrates provide presentations to local group and societies.

“Judith's experience as a magistrate will be missed by the bench and when the bench met for her last sitting the magistrates, solicitors, Crow Prosecution Service (CPS) and probation all wished her well for a happy and healthy retirement and thanked her for her loyal service of 26 years.”