Watford’s first black magistrate, who is retiring after 30 years on the bench, said she would "have loved to carry on" if her age permitted her to.

Angela Wells, of Dover Way, in Croxley Green, has worked for the last three decades in Watford Magistrates’ Court.

The mother-of-three and grandmother-of-six said she "had no choice" but to retire as she turned 70 this year.

he said: "I think at 70 some people feel that they have had enough and they haven’t got the ability to continue, but I’m still functioning quite well and I would have loved to carry on."

Mrs Wells, who was nominated to become a magistrate by the Watford Community Relations Council, said as a young girl she wanted to study law.

However, due to family commitments, she opted for a career in midwifery, working in that profession for 29 years.

Looking back at her time serving on the bench, Mrs Wells said: "It certainly has been a memorable part of my life and you learn so much and you meet some wonderful people. You just want your community to be a place that is comfortable and a safe place to live in. It’s been great."

Mrs Wells said she spent a substantial part of her time serving in the youth court, which she found to be particularly rewarding.

Watford Observer:

She said: "Over the 30 years I have done quite a lot on the youth court and, of course, being a midwife I want to see the progression of youngsters.

"I have done many years in the youth court and you have got to make tough decisions to rehabilitate young people in order for them to grow up and lead a normal life.

"Rehabilitation is very important to me and I’ve been able to meet and work with people of all different backgrounds who are all working towards the same outcome."

Mrs Wells said she plans to continue working for Three Rivers’ Citizens Advice Bureau, which she had been doing for the past nine years.

She said: "It’s a wonderful experience to be there assisting people who can’t assist themselves and to give support and guidance to those who need it."

Mrs Wells has urged that others look towards dedicating some of their time serving as a magistrate.

She added: "People should do what they can to make the community a comfortable and safe place. More people should put themselves forward if they can."