Judge Simon James sends out 12 jurors at Canterbury Crown Court... and 13 come back in
A judge at Canterbury Crown Court couldn’t believe his eyes when a jury in a smuggling case returned to give its verdict.
Three hours earlier he had asked 12 jury members to retire to decide on the case of a man accused of sneaking drugs into the UK.
But when the 12 "good and true" returned after lunch...and Judge Simon James counted them...there were 13 people standing in Court Four.
The judge ordered an immediate investigation...only to discover the odd man out had been due to be part of a jury panel for a following trial.
He had gone to use the toilets, saw a jury going into the court..panicked and joined them!
Judge James told the barristers in the smuggling case that he was satisfied it had been an honest mistake and had not interfered with justice.
The jury – the original 12 – later returned to court and returned a not guilty verdict on the defendant, from Scotland.
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