Trials for which juries have yet to be chosen have been postponed at courts in Ayrshire due to the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

From today, no new criminal jury trials will be commenced until further notice at Ayr and Kilmarnock Sheriff Courts.

The same decision effects all High and Sheriff Courts across Scotland.

A spokesperson Scottish Courts and Tribunals (SCTS) for said: "'Unprecedented times' is a phrase that has probably been overused in the last year, but best describes where we find ourselves today; not just as an organisation, or a country but as a global society.

"The justice system lies at the heart of any democratic society and that’s even more important during this period."

SCTS is acting based on the Government's response and is taking "appropriate measures to protect the health of all court users".

SCTS Chief Executive, Eric McQueen, said: “For those regular users of courts and tribunals, you will know how complex these issues are.
“Meantime, the most important action for all of us attending a court or a tribunal at this time; be they staff, judiciary, court or tribunal users,  is to follow stringently the current medical advice.

"Stay home if you have developed a continuous cough or fever/ high temperature in the last seven days and if you are well and attending court follow our guidance and rigorously undertake a hand washing and hygiene regime."