Bedfordshire juror given suspended sentence for discussing ongoing court case with friends

News from the courts. ANL-190117-152828001
News from the courts. ANL-190117-152828001

A juror from Houghton Regis has been given a suspended sentence for discussing a case outside of court.

The juror was overheard discussing a case while out for a meal with friends and family in January last year, including details of the trial and weapons that were used in the incident.

This was despite a strict instruction from the judge not to discuss the case.

A member of court staff overheard the conversation and reported it to the judge. The juror was removed from duty and the trial was able to continue.

The case was then passed to Bedfordshire Police and the juror pleaded guilty to intentionally disclosing the jury’s deliberations.

He was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He will do 100 hours of community service and was also fined.

Gary Hales, who investigated the case, said: “This should serve as a warning to people who are selected for jury service about the pitfalls of not listening to the judge’s orders and not discussing the case outside of the jury room.

“While the events in court can often be dramatic, it is absolutely vital to the administration of justice that these details are not discussed more widely.

“Such discussions can jeopardise trials and potentially cause distress for victims – you never know who might be listening.”