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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
New JP, 19, youngest in country
A 19-year-old law student has become the country's youngest magistrate, the government has confirmed.

Lucy Tate has been appointed to the Pontefract bench, the Department for Constitutional Affairs said.

She is younger than a 20-year-old man who was selected for the North Sussex bench last year.

It follows a 4m government drive to recruit magistrates who were more representative of the communities they served.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said: "She is definitely the youngest that has been appointed.

"She had to go through a rigorous selection process that involved the local advisory committee."

The spokeswoman said Miss Tate, who is studying for a law degree in Leeds, was considered an outstanding candidate.

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