Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Joanne Fraill the Juror who faces jail after Conducting Facebook chat with the defendant, Jamie Sewart - 15th

A woman juror sobbed as she was told she will be jailed for using Facebook to contact a defendant in a multi-million-pound drugs trial.

Joanne Fraill, 40, revealed highly sensitive details about jury room discussions when she swapped online messages with Jamie Sewart, 34, who had been acquitted.

The jury was still considering charges against other defendants and her actions led the case – a second retrial – to collapse, contributing to a £6million legal bill.

The High Court in London heard that the two women were the first people ever to be prosecuted for contempt of court involving the internet.

Three senior judges, led by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, warned Fraill she could be jailed for up to two years. They found Sewart was also in contempt of court but said she would not be jailed as she has a three-year-old child.

The case came just months after Lord Judge warned that the misuse of the internet was a major threat to the future of our centuries-old jury system. Read More