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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11155
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have attended a sheriff court as a juror and I have been

Resolved Question:

I have attended a sheriff court as a juror and I have been found in contempt for stupidly accessing information about the accused that was freely available in the public domain. I have no previous convictions and of good character. Will I get a custodial sentence?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
What was the effect of your actions on the trial?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was myself and another juror found in contempt, because of our action in accessing the newspaper web site, the trial was abandoned and has to go to retrial.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
For how long had the trial been running before it had to be abandoned?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two & a half days. Started on Monday and was stopped on Wednesday afternoon. It was only this morning that we were informed of the contempt charge. We have to attend court on the 21st March.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Were you told not to look at the Internet? How were you found out? How many accused are there? Are they represented by Counsel or solicitors? How many witnesses were heard before the trial was abandoned? Has it restarted or is it adjourned to a different sitting. Are the accused on bail or in custody?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To be honest I have heard that I could get 2 - 3 months jail or a fine or both. I'm 63, I have never been in trouble with the authorities and I can't do jail, I'm really scared about this.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
See my additional questions above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes we were told about going on the internet. There was just one accused in the dock represented by counsel. Six witnesses were heard before the trial was abandoned. Accused is in custody.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
A prison sentence is within the judge's powers. However, you should engage a good criminal lawyer and ask him to refer the court to the case of Howden which was last October. A similar error on the part of a juror resulted in a fine of £500. That would be a good result. You can access the case here: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=1b86f3a6-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7
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