Littlehampton juror jailed at Chichester Crown Court

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Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer ENGEMN00120131107110901

A juror from Littlehampton has been jailed for contempt of court.

Davey Wade, 22, of Terminus Road, Littlehampton, was jailed for 21 days after not turning up to Chichester Crown Court for part of a trial.

The juror claimed he was ill, but instead chose to work night shifts at his new job as a health care assistant in Chichester.

The jury was dismissed – at ‘substantial’ cost to the court, jurors and – ‘above all’ – the defendant and complainant in the case.

Presiding, Judge William Wood QC, said: “The defendant has not been able to produce any medical evidence but has had to admit today that when he said he was ill, the reality is that whatever the state of his throat, he did actually go and work the night shift from 7pm to 7am.

“He has admitted that he was not taking his duty as a juror seriously. There was simply no contact.”

Wade had previously apologised to the court for ‘choosing work over jury service’.

The court made attempts to contact Wade, but he did not answer his phone.

Judge Wood QC compared Wade to the example of Janet Chapman, who was found to be in contempt of court for going on holiday and pretending to be ill when she was called for jury service.

“She said she had a bad back but was able to go to Malta,” he told the court.

Judge Wood QC said Wade was to be ‘commended’ for the effort of getting a job while he was out of work.

“But jury service must come first – everyone knows that,” he said.

“I hope you will be able to go back to your job when you come out. But if you have lost your job you only have yourself to blame.”