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Jury Service

5pints 2.0

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i did it back in 2018, be prepared for a lot of sitting around waiting and being told to go home early afternoon if you're not on a case.


The first week was ace, get in at 10 o'clock, read a book for two hours, get let out for lunch where using my allocated lunch allowance i'd buy a pie at Pieminister and take it round the corner to the Wellington to eat my pie with a pint, go back at half one and get told to come back tomorrow by quarter past two. Then on the Friday the unthinkable happened and i got chosen to be on a case! Not just any case - The Harrowing Case of Taron Macauley!! During the Beast From The East storm Taron and his mates had stolen two Range Rovers and ram raided a mobile phone shop in order to steal an ATM, after destroying the front of the shop the they wrapped a chain round the cash machine, pulled it out and dragged it down several roads - in the snow  with the police in pursuit, smashed into two police cars and eventually crashed into a public park where they all ran off, Taron was the only one to be caught by the sniffer dogs so he'd admitted to being there but denied being the driver. So it was all about proving he was the driver as obviously the driver caused the damage to the shop and the cars etc. He was a good lad and didn't rat on his friends but his downfall was on the very evening of the Heist of the Century our culprit decided to wear grey jogging bottoms with his black coat and balaclava as opposed to the all black getup his friends were fashioning. As there was footage from inside the shop of when the Range Rover got stuck and everyone was trying to get it out there was a clip of someone in lighter trousers than then rest getting out of the drivers seat, messing with something then getting back in drivers side the moving off. The case started Friday afternoon and went on til Thursday afternoon. The Jury cast their GUILTY verdict on the Friday morning, just in time for a pint. As juror number one gave the verdict there were shouts and threats to us from the family and friends in the public gallery (who had been outside the court every morning of the case going "h'es one" as you walked in) so the judge held us back for ten minutes after they'd left and made us leave by the back exit which at Birmingham Crown Court is about ten feet away from the main entrance, 


But yeah, take a book.

Taron - 


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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, 5pints 2.0 said:

So... just had the letter through the post that I've been selected for jury service. Has anyone on here been selected, and if so, any stories from your time on the jury, or any advice?

I did. The first time I was selected, I appealed to defer as it clashed with a Champions League game I was going to at Wembley. I'm glad I did, because I got a fantastic case when I went second time round.

They warn you up front that you're probably going to be needed 2-3 weeks. Which is fine, except I got a murder case, so mine lasted, IIRC, 7 weeks in the end. You get your expenses paid up front, which is great. The courts pay your salary/wage instead of your employer for the time you're there, and when you send receipts they cover your travel expenses plus a really generous meal allowance. I had Greggs, Subway or Waitrose (yes) on days I wasn't having Crazy Pedro's "2 slices and coke" lunch deal. Some days you'll get there, sit around for a while but if they can't proceed because problems with defendant, defence arguing the toss about some evidence, witness missed their bus or something, you get sent home to spend the rest of the day on the sofa but get paid anyway.

My case was fascinating, they wheeled out everyone you could think of from the deceased's family, friends and former housemates etc, and the defence desperately tried to pin it on the current boyfriend, the ex boyfriend, any other addicts from her circle, even mystery clients who she was shagging for £20 a go to feed her habit. The young accomplice of the ex boyfriend turned out to be a cousin of a colleague's boyfriend, which was a turn up (getting to hear about his drug habits etc), and about 3 years later I'd end up living fairly near where the murder happened. Regularly walking past such landmarks as "this is the takeaway we saw CCTV footage from," "thats the pawn shop where the killer took the deceased's stolen jewellery" and "thats the cafe where they got the breakfast the morning he killed her." The prosecution placed rather too much emphasis on black pudding in the early going, which left us all very confused - turned out the killers DNA was on the fork next to the breakfast that had the black pudding, the deceased didn't have it.

Poring over the endless data presented in dry, black and white table format was exhausting, but at least the records from her mobile and smart TV proved two facts ; when she was out of the house, she was always on her phone. When she was in the house, day or night, the TV was always on. Long winded as it was, it did kind of produce the circumstantial evidence - they get back to the house early morning (I think 9ish?) then the TV isn't switched on for the rest of the day, nor does she make any calls ever again on her phone, and the killer is seen leaving around 3PM having spent ages disturbing the scene - the only reason she didn't have her TV on all day was that she was already dead.

Deliberation was highly frustrating. Not because of going over, again and again, the same details we already all knew. But because of people's failure to grasp guilty vs not guilty. If you're sure he's guilty, put guilty. If you have any doubt whatsoever, vote not guilty. First vote - 8 x guilty, 3 x not guilty, 1 x "not sure." What the fuck does that mean? "Well, I don't want to say not guilty because I'm not sure that he didn't kill her." IF YOU AREN'T SURE HE DID, YOU PUT NOT GUILTY, CLAIRE. It's not hard. We did one afternoon of time wasting conversation after they wrapped, then a morning, but things got perilously close to lunchtime on Day 2 and I'd had enough. They were on the verge of going over the records from the phone mast data again. I wanted to go to the pub.

"Guys, I have three questions to ask you and if any of you still think anyone else can have killed her, we'll go over the phone records again. The defendant says he found the body on the Sunday but was two scared to report it, and that's why she wasn't found until Sunday night when the ex boyfriend went to her house, and that's why his boot prints in her blood were found at the scene. OK, well we know it rained on the Saturday night and Sunday because the police left muddy footprints at the scene when they went there. So question 1 is why didn't he leave muddy footprints on his way into or out of the house if he was there on the Sunday, rather than him killing her on Saturday morning as the evidence suggests?"

OK raid, let's get into that before you go on.

"No Adrian, let me finish. If he went there on Sunday after he was at the friends house, as he claims, why does the CCTV footage not show him going that way on Sunday, exactly as it shows the ex boyfriend on the evening that we know he found the body and called the police? And finally, why does the CCTV footage not show him around the house on this phantom visit, but only him entering the house on the morning with the victim carrying their breakfasts, not leaving until 3PM, and in fact nobody entering the house until the ex boyfriend finding her and calling the police? It's because, physically, nobody else could have killed her without being caught on camera approaching the house either by the front door or entering the ginnel behind the house. He killed her, nobody else could have."

The foreman took an immediate new vote and there were 11 "guilty" and one "guilty as fuck" - bless you Kylie. The judge gave him 21 years and we found out he'd complained about everything from the prosecution to the judge to us to his own defence team in attempts to disrupt the trial. And without giving it away, he turned out to be fairly notorious from a well-remembered criminal incident from the 80s which we hadn't been aware of and had spent 30 years in and out of prison already. We all then got completely trashed, ending up in Burger King after midnight, and briefly having a WhatsApp group chat with a black pudding as the icon. I was pleased I did my bit in sending a murderer (back) to prison.

Needless to say, I had the last laugh.

Edited by air_raid
I fought the law and the law won
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I got summoned for jury service once, went along, and to my surprise (I was dressed like a typical metalhead at the time!) I was selected so was on the case. I actually found the whole thing really interesting and it was a cool feeling to know you were part of justice being done. There were certainly some perks too - every day the jury were taken on a bus to a local hotel where we received a 3 course meal totally free of charge before being taken back to court. Our trial had been guessed to only take 2 days but it ended up being 2 weeks! If anyone ever tells you there's no such thing as a free lunch, they're talking shite.

Can't really go into many specifics of the case itself but the gist of it was sexual assault and kidnap (a takeaway owner allegedly locked 2 late-teenaged girls in his shop and assaulted them before pursuing them when they escaped). As the days passed, the prosecutors absolutely tore the girls' story apart: indeed they differed to such an extent that they were almost 2 different stories and we jury members quickly began to realise we were hearing a pack of lies. 

In the end, the verdict was not guilty and not proven on each count. Two things happened shortly afterwards that will stay with me forever. Upon the foreman reading the verdicts, the accused- who throughout the proceedings had sat there stony-faced and composed - absolutely collapsed over the table in floods of tears of sheer relief. He had faced prison after all - a life ruined for something that it was evident he hadn't done.  Then, afterwards, I was walking out the jury exit of the court to head home and the defendant and his family were stood beside the gate. Obviously, I didn't go over to approach them or talk to them or anything but I always remember him looking at me with this huge beaming smile, his expression one of pure gratefulness. His brother, also smiling, silently actually bowed his head in thanks  too. I smiled back, letting them know without words that I had believed him and wished him well, before heading onto the street and off home. 

That was a powerful thing to me - I may have only been 1 person out of 14 others, but to have listened carefully to all the evidence, discussed among my peers and then made a decision which I fully believed was the right one and justice being done, that stuck with me. I highly recommend anyone who has the chance to do jury service to do it - it's really quite rewarding in my experience.

Then, on top of all the free lunches, I was reimbursed for the wages from my 2 week absence from work too! Result. 


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I got called back in 2007 when I was living in Surrey. I was called to Croydon so naturally I was terrified for my life and thought some John Grisham shit was about to go down.

Sat around for 3 days playing Snake on my phone and reading a book about Bill Hicks. On the 4th day finally got called. Just as we're about to go in, both sides settled. I was sent home and got a cheque for £560 the next day.

Delighted to have played my part in the criminal justice system.

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Posted (edited)

I was summoned for it about two and a half years back. As I work in the jail that two of the co-defendant's were banged up in while on remand, I had to declare a conflict of interest. A letter from the civil service later, and I was excused. Result.

Found out much later on that it’s a story I was all too familiar with anyway. A car full of southeners drove up to a student heavy area of Nottingham (Lenton for those familiar) with the intention of breaking and entering and mugging foreign students. You'd be amazed how many people we have banged up for this. 

Edited by Wretch
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Got called up for it when I was 22 and on my InterRail month, so returned home to various sternly-worded letters which presumed my lack of response was a refusal and led to lots of frantic phone calls to let them know that I'd be available by the date they wanted me. 

Was told I might be needed for two weeks, but the only trial I was called up for was wrapped up in one - the foreman said he reckoned the judge had a holiday booked, only half-jokingly - and the usher said I needn't bother coming back the following week. Which is just as well, because they expected me to commute to Taunton Crown Court every day. Not sure what the threshold (distance/seriousness) is for actually paying to put people up in hotels? 

The jury had to be constituted twice on the first day because somebody initially selected to sit on it was known to someone due to give evidence later in the week. When the names were read aloud at the start of the trial they didn't recognise their friend's because they only knew her personally by her married name, rather than professionally by her maiden name and the latter is what the clerk read out. Anyone who didn't make it onto the second version of the jury was sent home for the week, as far as I can tell. 

Anyway, anything that gets as far as a criminal trial is unlikely to be either pleasant or mundane. Mine was a case of multiple sexual assaults on a girl well below the age of consent. In fact, she was so young at the time of the alleged offences that the judge offered a trial where he and the court staff aren't all wearing wigs so she'd be less daunted, but it took so long to actually get to trial that by that point she said she didn't mind if they were dressed formally.

Consensus in the deliberation room is that she wasn't making any of the allegations up, but we had to find the defendant not guilty on the first four of the six charges due to insufficient evidence but without going into further detail there'd been... physical remains of the final two counts. Unlike on the TV they didn't even do the sentencing there and then, so I don't know how long he was even sent down for! 

Not the nicest experience overall, but as other have said, at least the lunches were free. 


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2 hours ago, SpiritOfTheForest said:

but I always remember him looking at me with this huge beaming smile, his expression one of pure gratefulness. His brother, also smiling, silently actually bowed his head in thanks  too.


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54 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

"With tears in their eyes they thanked me for giving them the best trial they'd ever had.....................Fuck Goldberg"

Best trial there ever was, best trial there is and the best there ever will be

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