High-profile Old Bailey cases may be broadcast live on TV

The pilot will take place at the Old Bailey and Southwark Crown Court in London and at courts in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Cardiff. Cameras will be able to film nominated senior judges but the filming of court staff, victims, witnesses, defendants and lawyers will remain prohibited.

Safeguards will be put in place to make sure victims continue to be supported and the administration of justice is not affected. Cases previously heard at the Old Bailey include that of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, and Soham murderer Ian Huntley and his girlfriend Maxine Carr.

Southwark Crown Court has hosted the Rolf Harris sex abuse trial, while Bristol Crown Court recently heard the trial of the killer of teenager Becky Watts. Broadcasters have been pressing the Government for greater access to courts since Labour rejected their calls when it was in power.

David Cameron wants the public to see criminals face justice as the nation loses patience with soft sentencing. The idea has been backed by criminal justice campaigners, including Baroness Newlove, who experienced the court system first-hand during the trial of her husband Gary’s killers.

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