Juror admits contempt of court for Facebook contact

| 14/06/2011

(BBC): A juror, who contacted a defendant via Facebook, has admitted contempt of court in the first case of its kind in the UK involving the internet. London's High Court heard that Joanne Fraill, 40, contacted Jamie Sewart, 34, who had already been acquitted in a drugs trial in Manchester. However, the jury was still considering charges against other defendants and the contact led the judge to discharge the jury, and the case collapsed. The pair face up to two years in jail. The case, brought by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, is being heard by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges.

Fraill admitted she had made online contact with Sewart and discussed the case with her while the jury's deliberations were continuing.

She also admitted revealing details of the jury's deliberations during that online conversation – contrary to Contempt of Court Act 1981 – and conducting internet research into a defendant whose case she was trying as a juror during the trial.

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