Old Bailey juries sent home after ‘unusually large parcel’ blocks court toilets

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

Was it a ‘huge fat ball’ from the court kitchen?

Three juries were reportedly sent home from London’s Central Criminal Court yesterday after an “unusually large parcel” blocked one of the toilets.

The unfortunate obstruction meant the water supply had to be turned off in part of the historic Old Bailey building, the Metro reports, leaving lawyers, court staff and members of the public unable to use the facilities or access drinking water.

“There is a problem with the water flow,” an unnamed court clerk told the website. “There is a blocked toilet in the public gallery, someone has left an unusually large parcel. I think that literally is the problem. The jury cannot use the taps or toilets.”

Mr Recorder Kark explained to one jury, which had been deliberating for around five hours before being sent home, that “working in an old building stands its own trials and tribulations”. The parcel-shaped problem had caused “flooding in an area of the building”, he added, “and as a result they have had to turn the water off”.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The judge continued:

“That means you cannot get any water or use the lavatory and it seems to me that it is not appropriate to keep a jury in these circumstances. There might be quite justifiably all sorts of complaints about keeping you in retirement. I am afraid it is a bit of a palaver, but it is because you have reached that particular stage in deliberations. With good luck we will be together tomorrow at 10am.”

So what caused the blockage? Well, according to CourtNewsUK, it may have been a “huge fat ball” from the courts’ kitchens.

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter