‘Miss­ing’ ju­rer dodges jail term

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page -

A ju­ror who dis­rupted a trial when he re­peat­edly failed to show up to court has nar­rowly avoided jail.

Martin Lawrie, 31, was or­dered to carry out 200 hours of un­paid work af­ter he pleaded guilty to con­tempt of court. How­ever, it emerged he has only com­pleted 40 hours so far.

Lawrie was back in the dock at Pais­ley Sher­iff Court yes­ter­day, where a sher­iff told him he was close to be­ing sent to prison over the un­com­pleted work.

His lawyer told the court he was “a worka­holic” who buck­led down and ac­cepted all over­time that was of­fered to him, mean­ing he was left with no time to com­plete his com­mu­nity ser­vice, which was told to carry out a full 12 months ago.

Sher­iff Su­san Sin­clair said she did not wish to send him to jail but that was pre­cisely where he would be head­ing if he landed back in court in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

“I do not un­der­stand what it is that you do not un­der­stand,” she said and re­voked the orig­i­nal or­der, re­plac­ing it with an iden­ti­cal one re­quir­ing him to once more carry out 200 hours of un­paid work in nine months.

She stressed that she was go­ing to mon­i­tor his progress and that he would have to re­turn to court in three months’ time, when she would ex­pect him to have com­pleted a third of the hours in­volved.

“This is a di­rect al­ter­na­tive to cus­tody and if you do not do the or­der, you will go straight to jail,” she said.

He will re­turn to court on May 14 this year for a re­view of his or­der.

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