The jury in the Vicky Pryce trial at Southwark Crown Court asked the judge ten questions relating to the case.
The jury was subsequently discharged after failing to reach a verdict on a charge of perverting the course of justice.
The ten questions were:
1. You have defined the defence of marital coercion and also explained what does not fall within the definition by way of examples.
Please expand upon the definition, specifically "was will overborne".
Provide examples of what may fall within the defence, and does this defence require violence or physical threats?
2. In the scenario where the defendant may be guilty but there is not enough evidence provided by the prosecution at the material time of when she signed (the penalty notice letter) to feel sure beyond reasonable doubt, what should the verdict be: not guilty or unable/unsafe to provide a verdict?
The judge said they could convict only if at least 10 of them were sure Pryce was guilty.
3. If there is debatable evidence supporting the prosecution's case, can inferences be drawn to arrive at a verdict?
If so, inferences/speculation on the full evidence or only where you have directed us to do so eg circumstantial evidence, lies, failure by Vicky Pryce to mention facts to the police.
The judge said no.
4. Can you define what is reasonable doubt?
5. Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?
The judge said no. He added that while they were entitled to draw inferences from reliable facts, they could not speculate.
6. Can we infer anything from the fact that the defence did not bring witnesses from the time of the offence such as au pair, neighbours?
7. Does the defendant have an obligation to present a defence?
8. Can we speculate about the events at the time that Vicky Pryce signed the form, or what was in her mind at that time?
The judge again said "no", and while they could draw inferences they could not speculate.
9. Your honour, the jury are considering the facts provided but have continued to ask the questions raised by the police.
Given the case has come to court without answers to the police's questions, please advise on which facts in the bundle the jury shall consider to determine a not guilty or guilty verdict.
10. Would religious conviction be a good enough reason for a wife feeling that she had no choice, ie she promised to obey her husband in her wedding vows and he had ordered her to do something and she felt she had to obey?
The judge said the question was not about this case, and Pryce had not suggested any such reasoning was behind her decision to take Huhne’s points.