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Judge sums up as court reporter bids farewell

A district judge and a city’s mayor have lined up to pay tribute to a South West newspaper’s longest-serving reporter.

Carol Saunders has worked for Plymouth-daily The Herald for over 25 years and started with the paper before its youngest current reporter was even born.

Colleagues, court staff, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress and well-wishers gathered at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court to say a fond farewell.

Court staff gave The Herald special permission to make a presentation and take photos inside the court room (see below) as a mark of their respect for Carol and her work.

District Judge Paul Farmer said: “I’ve been back in Plymouth for six years and it struck me that for those six years, the one person who’s had to put up with me more than anybody else is Carol.

“As far as this court is concerned, we have been blessed by having someone like Carol Saunders.

“I’ve found I can trust her. Throughout the time I’ve known Carol she’s been fair, she’s been there, and we’re going to be sorry to lose her.

“We’d like to say we have the greatest possible respect for her and wish her the very best. We’re going to miss you.”

  • Carol receives a farewell presentation from editor Bill Martin
  • Carol spent two decades with the Wolverhampton-based Express and Star before moving to Devon and the then Western Evening Herald and Western Morning News.

    She has worked under six editors and seen the paper change names twice to the Evening Herald and now The Herald.

    Bill, who described her as the “rock” of the newsroom, said: “Carol quickly established herself as a reporting force to be reckoned with.

    “She had already made a name for herself with a glittering career at the Express and Star in Wolverhampton when she started here.

    “Carol’s probably the last of a kind – we’ll all miss you, Carol.”

    Lord Mayor of Plymouth Councillor Brian Vincent presented Carol with a gift on behalf of himself and the city of Plymouth while the magistrates’ court also made a presentation.

    Carol said she was gobsmacked at the response to her retirement.

    “I was hoping to sneak off quietly,” she said.

    “If anyone asks why I’m a journalist, I say ‘We’re here to tell the people what they need to know’.”

  • And with colleagues and local dignitaries outside court