Manchester Juror Who Contacted Accused On Facebook Gets 8 Months: Joanne Fraill Offered ‘Pressie’
JOANNE Fraill, 40, of Blackley, Greater Manchester, was on the jury when she contacted Jamie Sewart, 34, via Facebook. Sewart, of Bolton, had already been cleared in a drugs trial. But others were still in the dock in Manchester.
Fraill’s actions caused the £6m drugs case to collapse. She was charged with contempt of court. She admitted it and has been jailed for eight months.
Sewart was sentenced to a two-month sentence suspended for two years after she too was found guilty of contempt.
Says Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge:
“Her conduct in visiting the internet repeatedly was directly contrary to her oath as a juror, and her contact with the acquitted defendant, as well as her repeated searches on the internet, constituted flagrant breaches of the orders made by the judge for the proper conduct of the trial.”
“I really feel for the woman. She’s got kids. She apologised and she’s not a bad lady. I really feel for her.”
“All that note-taking was just killing time. lol. drew more than i wrote lol”
Another time she wrote to Sewart:
“Cant get anywaone to go either no one budging… don’t say anything cause jamie they could cause miss trial.”
“Ha ha, ur mad. I really appreciate everythin. If i cud of kissed u all i would of done ha ha.”
“Keep in touch and I’ll get u a nice pressie…”
All damming stuff. It’s happened before in the US:
A Detroit-area woman was kicked off a jury for commenting on Facebook that it’s “gonna be fun to tell the defendant they’re GUILTY” before the trial was over or the defense even presented its case… Not only was 20-year-old Hadley Jons booted from the jury for the offense but the judge also ordered that she write a five-page essay about the Sixth Amendment. That’s the one that guarantees the right to a fair trial…
Have you ever served on a jury? What was it like..?