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Crown court trial restarted after woman accidently joined the jury

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Unwittingly took the place of a missing male juror

A crown court trial had to be restarted after a woman “followed the crowd” and accidently joined the jury, it has been reported.

The bizarre incident, which is said to have unfolded last week at Chelmsford Crown Court, saw the unnamed woman enter the courtroom and join the jurors — despite not being selected to sit on the trial.

The Daily Gazette reports that the woman had been sitting in the pool of jurors, from which panels are drawn, when she followed a group into the courtroom and joined them on the jury bench.

The woman only realised her error after the prosecuting barrister had completed her opening address to the court. She quickly alerted the judge, who in turn sent the jury out.

It later transpired that the red-faced juror had unwittingly taken the place of a missing male juror who had already been sworn in to hear the case, but wasn’t present.

Having called the woman back into court, Judge Jonathan Seely reassured her that she had done the right thing in raising the issue as soon as possible. He said:

“Don’t worry, none of us noticed or noted it. The person who should be there for some reason did not head down. There were 12 people sworn in as jurors yesterday, you were not one of them. There is no question of me discharging you, you’re not on this jury.”

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The judge went on to confirm that the case would have to be restarted, this time with the correct jury panel, and that the woman could go back into the pool and serve on another jury.

Before her release, the judge ensured she had no connections to the upcoming trial and warned her not to discuss what she had heard during the opening speech with anyone.

With the correct jury now in place, Judge Seely reportedly said: “Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am not sure in my 30 years working in the courts this has ever happened before. The lady who was sitting in your position was, of course, not a member of this jury and simply followed the crowd I suppose.”

He continued:

“I have discussed the situation with counsel and there is no harm and no problem in the sense this was at a very early stage of the case.”

Earlier this year Legal Cheek reported that Keith Cutler, a circuit court judge and the recorder of Winchester, had been selected for jury service on a case he was due to hear. After some initial confusion, the bigwigs at the jury service eventually let Cutler off the hook.

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19 Comments

Outraged

Such a sexist headline. Are you implying that she made a mistake due to being a woman!!?

Rupert Neville-Thruxton III

Sweetheart, we’d all be grateful if you stopped with the hysteric overreaction.

There’s a good girl.

Outraged

Oh, piss off back to the stone age knuckle dragger and come back when you realise that women have rights too, ok??

Outraged

Yes but I doubt any have exercised that right in your miserable life

Glen

Outraged. You are just looking for something to complain about. It could easily been a male which made that mistake but it wasn’t in this case.

Outraged

Why do you insist on burying your head in the sand?? The headline wouldn’t have said it was a man in that case. It’s abundantly clear to those with any brain cells that the writer blames this incident on it being a woman. Of course I’m looking out for flagrant sexism, shouldn’t I call it out, or would you rather a demure, silent woman!??

JDA

I bet ‘Outraged’ is great fun at a party, bur she really shouldn’t bother her pretty little head. (I assume that I’ve used the correct pronoun, but ‘Outraged’ may, of course be ‘non-binary’…

Outraged

The irony of correcting my typos when you forget a closing bracket. Typical man.

There there

…)

Archibald Pomp O'City

Troll good no?

Reubel

Crown court trial restarted after human accidentally joins the jury doesn’t have the same ring to it. Daft woman.

Outraged

I think you are mising the point on purpose to try to prove your awful, suprressive, point. Human is not the only word one could use, is it? Again another example of the misoginyst toxic masculinty that pervades this site.

JDA

‘suppressive’ and ‘misogynist’ – I’d say your spelling was poor, but you’d no doubt play a disability card…

Outraged

It’s hard to spell when you’re quivering with rage when typing!!!

Archibald Pomp O'City

Fucking hell pal, are you thick or something? Learn how to spell or bugger off to the DM.

Outraged

No you bugger off fucking misogynist

Dolly McChuckles

It was me, dear.

I often get a bit confused.

Men in wigs?

Where will it all end?

That lovely Boris will sort it all out once he’s sent all the foreigners back to Brexit.

Price of tea now… shocking!

And the NHS…

I recon it’s all because of those Eye-phones myself… Ear phones I can understand, but Eye-phones? People should look where they’re going. Twice I’ve been knocked over by a teenager…

BarBar

Typical Essex. More stupid people per square mile than anywhere in this country.

Why do I have to put in a name

They could hardly call it “Crown court trial restarted after nondescript individual accidentally joined the jury”

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