Two charged with ju­ror in­tim­i­da­tion

Sunderland Echo - - News -

The trial of Alan Smart and David Roberts had to be stopped af­ter two jurors were al­legedly driven at out­side of Teesside Crown Court.

Two men who had ear­lier been in the court’s pub­lic gallery have been charged with in­tim­i­da­tion.

Judge Deb­o­rah Sher­win halted the first trial and dis­charged the jury. A sec­ond trial was held with a new jury.

The judge or­dered no de­tails of what hap­pened to the first jury be dis­closed to the sec­ond jury.

De­tailscan­now­bere­ported af­ter the sec­ond jury re­turned its ver­dicts, com­plet­ing their in­volve­ment in the case.

Owen Pa­trick Smart, 61, of Foxlair Close, Hall Farm, and Ryan Grif­fin, 28, of Lil­burne Close, East End, both Sun­der­land, were charged with in­tim­i­da­tion on Jan­uary 26.

They are al­leged to have driven be­hind two fe­male jurors as they walked on the paved area out­side the court.

Smart and Grif­fin pleaded not guilty dur­ing a short pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing ear­lier this week.

No trial date was set be­cause the case may have to be tried at a dif­fer­ent court due to some of the wit­nesses work­ing at Teesside Crown Court.

Judge Peter Arm­strong re­manded both in cus­tody.

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