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US NewsTrial forced to restart after woman ‘followed the crowd and joined jury by mistake’

13:11  16 september  2019
13:11  16 september  2019 Source:   uk.news.yahoo.com

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At the start of the trial , the court clerk randomly selects jury panel numbers. If they call your panel Once a jury has been chosen, two jury keepers (usually members of court security staff) are The case will then follow a set pattern. The court clerk reads out the charges against the accused person.

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Trial forced to restart after woman ‘followed the crowd and joined jury by mistake’ A woman mistakenly walked on to a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court (File picture: PA)

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

The woman, who had been summoned for jury service but not selected for the trial, inadvertently followed a chosen jury into the courtroom and sat down among them.

She had been sitting outside the court in a pool of people from which panels are drawn to sit on juries.

She took the place of a missing male juror who had been sworn on to the jury but wasn’t there, the Southend Standard reported.

Once she had realised her mistake, which wasn’t spotted by staff at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, she alerted the judge, who sent the jurors out of the courtroom and called her back in alone.

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Judge Jonathan Seely said he had never seen anything like it in his 30 years of handling cases.

He said her: “Don't worry, none of us noticed or noted it.

Trial forced to restart after woman ‘followed the crowd and joined jury by mistake’ © Provided by Oath Inc. A trial had to restart after a woman inadvertently joined a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex (Picture: PA) “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.

"What will happen is we will restart this case with the original jury. You can go back into the pool and you will be able to serve on another jury."

The court ensured the woman had no connection to any of the people involved in the upcoming trial and she was warned not to discuss what she heard during the opening of the case.

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Prosecuting barrister Lori Tucker had just finished her opening address to the jury when the mistake was realised.

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Mistrial

Had the case gone ahead with the woman in the jury, it would have been a mistrial and any convictions would have been quashed.

Judge Seely reassured the woman that she had made a genuine mistake and had done the right thing by alerting him.

After the correct jury had assembled in court, he told them: "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.

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After the Manafort jury was sent off to deliberate, Ellis moved on with other cases on his docket The jury in the Manafort trial includes six men and six women from Northern Virginia. Ellis asked the court, as heads craned to see whether the judge had made a mistake or whom he was addressing.

"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."

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