Monday, July 09, 2007

Hijab-wearing juror caught listening to MP3 player

This is wild. From TimesOnline:

A Muslim juror faces a possible prison sentence after being discovered listening to an MP3 player under her hijab headscarf during a high-profile murder trial.

In what is considered the first case of its kind, the woman was arrested for contempt of court after another member of the jury passed a note revealing the indiscretion to the judge, Roger Chapple.

And it wasn't some crummy drug case, either:

When caught listening to music she was meant to be hearing vital evidence from Alan Wicks, a former businessman on trial for brutally bludgeoning his disabled wife to death after 50 years of marriage. He was later found guilty.

During the trial, members of the jury sitting on the case had become increasingly concerned about the behaviour of the woman, who it emerged had repeatedly tried to avoid legal service.

The judge - who previously suspected that he had heard "tinny music" in the background, but dismissed it as his imagination - called the woman into court on her own, and said: “You are going to be discharged from this jury. You will play no further role.”

Nothing gets by the judge! Obvious question: what was she listening to?
Outside the court Ben Maguire, a barrister representing the prosecution, said that it was a "bad contempt" and prison would be the "likely outcome".

“It is unique for all those who are connected with this court to experience a situation where the juror is suspected of listening to a MP3 player under her Islamic headgear," he said.
Islamic headgear?
“Also, it is exceptional for a juror to appear entirely uninterested in the evidence. It is a bad alleged contempt. If contempt is upheld, I would have thought that prison would be the likely outcome,” he said.
I would have thought so too, damn me if I wouldn't.

(via Towcestrian at B-BBC)

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