Sunday, August 13, 2006

More Tales From The Jury Room

Here is another contribution that I have been sent about jury deliberations:

The charge was section 18 wounding, arising from a road-rage incident. The defendant, who, if things had stopped rather earlier than they did, would probably have been in court as the complainant, admitted hitting the other chap - in what he said was self-defence - while he was holding his car keys. The way the complainant came to be slashed across the throat (fortunately not very deeply) was that, according to the defendant, the small lock-knife he kept attached to his key-ring had somehow sprung open during the fight, without his realising it, because the catch was loose.

As quite often happens, the judge had sent the jury home after the speeches the previous day and summed up first thing in the morning. The jury were then sent out and we were rather surprised to be called back into court 10 minutes later.

A problem had come to the judge's notice. He'd just heard from the court security guards that one of the jurors had set off the metal-detector when he arrived that morning. They'd discovered this was because he'd got two knives with him. Obviously, they told he couldn't take them in with him and confiscated them, despite his protests that he needed them because he and another juror wanted to demonstrate their colleagues what they thought might have happened in the fight.

The jury were dismissed because, as the judge said, they'd clearly been developing very speculative theories about the fight. It's fortunate, I suppose, that we avoided a situation in which the jury had to explain they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict because one of their number had just been taken to A&E.


Michelle said...

Never ceases to amaze me! Although i can beat your knives, a juror in one of my matters smuggled a rat in! It jumped out of his pocket and ran right across the floor of the court was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Somebody'll be dining out on that one for years!