IF appearing before a judge is amongst your worst nightmares, then an invitation to step into the dock may not be your idea of a good day out.

On the other hand, as the saying goes, if you have nothing to fear then the chance to go behind the scenes at Gloucester Crown Court might be right up your street.

Gloucester’s presiding Judge Jamie Tabor is throwing open the doors of Gloucester Crown Court on Saturday, May 17.

The aim is to give the public a better insight into how the criminal justice system works and the various organisations that operate within it.

So if you ever wondered what happens in a courtroom how the Crown Prosecution Service decides which cases should be prosecuted, where a prisoner goes after sentencing and how police, probation, victim support and other relevant agencies work together to deliver justice this is your chance.

You can also experience a mock sentencing and a trip to the cells.

Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said: “Our legal system is one of the cornerstones of our society yet how many people really understand it or know how it works.

“Many people will have been fascinated by the trial of Oscar Pistorious but because we don’t allow cameras into our courts, most people’s views will be based on the fictional presentation they see on television or in the cinema.

“The more we can de-mystify the legal system and make it more transparent the better.

"The courts are there to uphold the law and protect them. If the public understand that, we will make some progress in respect for the law”.