Anorak News | Bluewater Bombed: Old Bailey Terror Jury’s Guilty Secrets

Bluewater Bombed: Old Bailey Terror Jury’s Guilty Secrets

by | 4th, May 2007

big_jury.jpgIS it time professional jurors were introduced to British courts?


Symes is one of 12 jurors who spent the last 13 months of their lives at the terrorism trial that saw Jawad Akbar, Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood, Anthony Garcia and Salahuddin Amin jailed for life at the Old Bailey.

Symes is billed a computer programmer. But he cannot have been doing much computer programming in the last year and more. Indeed, we suggest that Symes now eke out a new career as a professional juror.

But before that, we hear what went on.

Says he: “We would be stood down at 10:30 and some would go to the pub at 11am. One time we returned to court next day and I heard them say some of them had stayed in the pub until 10pm – that’s 11 hours.”

Well, this was a tense case. And while many British jurors would have remained longer in the pub, at least until last orders, others do have homes and families do see. Stress can interfere with a juror’s drinking. Be warned.

Symes goes on: “Another time we turned up and there were only 11 of us. One man was being examined by the matron and we were stood down for the day while they arranged a taxi.

“I asked another juror what the problem was. She said he was hung over which I thought was outrageous. She said, ‘Have you never been hung over?’ I said, ‘Yes, of course I have but not on jury service’. I thought I was just about the only one with any morals or ethics.”

We are not here to judge, only to listen as moral and ethical Symes tells the papers his story.

“The jury split into factions,” adds Symes. “There was a lot of bitchiness…it was very two-faced.”

But now Symes is versed in the machinations of jury service, might it be an idea to retain his services and those of his fellow jurors?

It is not everyone who can spend 13 months sat in court listening to testimony. And having done it once, we urge the judiciary to pass legislation to elevate jurors to the professional ranks.

Indeed, better yet, if the cameras are allowed into court and the whole thing turned into a reality TV show.

Come on down, Juror No.1. “Hello. My name’s Joyce, I’m into knitting, looking after the grand-kiddies and chemical castration. To date I have delivered nine guilty verdicts, two non-guilty verdicts and a manuscript to my agent…

Posted: 4th, May 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink