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Court reporter dubbed 'Mave the Rave' dies aged 87

A former court reporter with a penchant for parties and “flair for fashion” has died aged 87.

Tributes have been paid to Mavis Holdsworth Mercer, previously of the South Yorkshire Times, who has been described as an “excellent story teller” by former colleagues.

Mavis’s career included covering the trial of spree killer Anthony Arkwright in 1989, who murdered four people over the course of three days.

According to her daughter Caroline, Mavis was known to many colleagues as ‘Mave the Rave’.

Mavis MErcer

She told the SYT: “She was not averse to throwing a party, inviting in a houseful of journos, friends and neighbours, and on these occasions could be seen with a ‘rollie’ (a hand rolled cigarette) in one hand, and a gin and tonic in the other.

“Mum had a flair for fashion, always looked stylish, and enjoyed picking up designer bargains.”

Former Times colleague Lynne Fletcher added: “Highly intelligent, skilled and with an acerbic wit, Mavis could always spot a good story and was an excellent story teller.

“She covered many important events during her time at the SYT and her accurate shorthand skills were brought to the fore during coverage of murder trials including the notorious Arkwright murder trial.

“Those of us who worked with Mavis will remember her good humour, sense of fun and the many amusing mishaps she had with cars, such as the cheap second-hand one she believed had belonged to a police Chief Constable according to its previous owner details.

“We had to point out that the little hole in the roof of the car meant it had been a police panda vehicle.”

Mavis leaves five children, John, Joanna, Sally, Caroline and Michael, and nine grandchildren. She passed away last month at a care home in Conisbrough, near Doncaster.

Her funeral will take place at 1.20pm on Tuesday 10 February at Rose Hill Crematorium, Doncaster.