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Shop owner Amric Khera jailed for taking selfie in court

A shop owner, who took a sneaky picture of himself in Canterbury Crown Court, turned his selfie into a CELLFIE when he ended up in prison!

Hen-pecked Amric Khera took the snaps in the middle of a rape case... because his wife didn’t believe where he was!

But it ended up with the shop boss being locked up in a cell for four days and then jailed for another seven after admitting contempt.

Khera took a selfie in court. Stock image
Khera took a selfie in court. Stock image

Section 41 of the 1925 Criminal Justice Act outlaws taking a photograph in court – and it is also regarded as a contempt of court under Common Law.

Judge Adele Williams told the 33-year-old father of two: “The courts take very, very seriously anyone who thinks it's OK to take a selfie or photograph a defendant inside court.

"The practice of taking selfies is NOT acceptable in court.”

DC Keith Rochford - the officer in a rape case- arrested Khera after he turned up in court four to support a friend who had denied the offences.

The detective seized the mobile phone and then downloaded images – which included the selfie and a picture of Khera's friend in the dock.

But the incident caused fear among judges, barristers and court staff that Khera was trying to interfere with the trial.

Judge Williams told him: “That’s the mischief in what you did because it was a flagrant contempt and the suspicion was that when people take photographs they are seeking to interfere with the trial process.

“It should not to be thought that people can indulge in something I regard to be very very unwise behaviour – even though it wasn’t sinister - and get away with it.

Christopher Wray, defending, said Khera had written a letter telling the judge he now realised that what he had done was “stupid”.

He said he had travelled from his home in Coventry to support a friend and had been talking to his wife in the West Midlands.

“There was an exchange of telephone calls between the couple outside court and his wife texted him saying: “How long are you going to be? I need you at home and I need your help with the children.”

“Then she said: ‘It doesn’t sound like you are in court.’ Where are you, what are you doing?’, “ added Mr Wray.

Judge Adele Williams
Judge Adele Williams

It was then that Khera snapped his pal sitting in the dock before taking a selfie as he sat in the public gallery – and told his wife he would be late getting home.

Mr Wray asked for the judge to free the defendant because wages at his two shops, along with payments for the National Lottery, distribution and other bills wouldn’t get paid.

“He opens and shuts his off-licence and convenience store and does all the orders, “ he added.

But the judge quipped: “It didn’t stop him travelling to court to support his friend!”

She jailed Khera for a further seven days and praised the detective for his thorough investigation into the incident.

Judge Simon James placed a reporting ban on the incident until the jury had delivered its verdict today, which was not guilty.

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