Friday 23 August 2019

Juror who failed to return now faces arrest

Stock photo
Stock photo

Tim Healy

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a juror who failed to turn up in the High Court following a lunchtime break.

The woman was among six men and six women sworn in on Tuesday to hear a defamation action by Turf Club head of security Chris Gordon against the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association (IRTA).

Mr Gordon alleges he was defamed by the IRTA, which denies his claims.

The jurors left for lunch following a speech about their duties by Mr Justice Bernard Barton. But the court heard the juror did not stay with the others over lunch.

When she failed to turn up, the judge said he would exercise his power to continue the case with just 11 jurors.

Mr Justice Barton said he was finding the missing juror in contempt and issued a bench warrant for her arrest.

Following legal argument in the case, the judge recalled the 11 jurors and told them he was discharging them.

This was due to the fact that a genuine legal issue had arisen and the case would have to be adjourned.

He told the jury its discharge was completely unrelated to his decision over the juror who did not return.

The judge also said he had hoped the juror would have either turned up yesterday morning to explain her position, or sent someone on her behalf, but she had "essentially failed to comply with her oath" (to try the case). As a result, he had found her in contempt and issued a warrant, he said.

Irish Independent

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