JURY trials at Dumbarton Sheriff Court are set to resume in the new year – but jurors will be sitting a 15-mile journey away from the court itself.

Trials for the most serious sheriff court cases were suspended at the beginning of the pandemic in March as the court complex was unable to accommodate social distancing requirements.

But the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) says it expects 'sheriff and jury' trials at the court to resume in February.

But while the sheriff, the accused and lawyers will attend trials at the court in person, jurors will hear evidence from a specially-adapted facility at the Odeon cinema complex at Braehead.

The same complex – which is currently operating as a remote jury centre for trials at the High Court in Glasgow – will be used for jury trials taking place at the sheriff courts in Greenock and Paisley.

Other Odeon complexes, in Ayr, East Kilbride, Dundee and Dunfermline, will be used by jurors for trials being heard at the sheriff courts in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Hamilton, Airdrie, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy, Perth and Dundee.

Jury trials at the sheriff courts in Glasgow and Edinburgh, again using cinemas as remote jury centres, will resume this week– the first such trials to take place since the start of the pandemic.

A working group chaired by former Dumbarton sheriff Craig Turnbull, has been overseeing the restart of sheriff and jury trials across the country.

David Fraser, chief operations at the SCTS, said: "“The commencement of trials in Edinburgh and Glasgow next week sees the restart of sheriff court jury trials.

There has been exceptional progress to secure remote jury centre venues required and we intend to move as quickly as possible to the pre-Covid number of sheriff court jury trials proceeding in Scotland.”