LANCASHIRE Probation Trust can now call upon the expertise of a fully qualified barrister to advise staff and prosecute offenders who breach orders.

After combining full-time work with gruelling part-time study for the past few years, the trust’s dedicated prosecutor Ralph Cairns has been called to the Bar.

As a result, the trust now possesses a great deal of legal expertise when it comes to compliance; making it extremely difficult for offenders to get away with breaching their orders.

Mr Cairns said: “During my training, I had to participate in a mooting (simulation of a court of law) that was presided over by Lord Justice Clarke.

“He gave me a tough time and made me dig deep to call upon all of my knowledge and experience.

“However, undergoing such experiences makes you very well equipped to deal with local magistrates and various courtroom tactics, such as ambush defences.”

Mr Cairns has worked for the trust for more than 25 years in a series of roles as a probation officer, including a number of court-based roles.