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  1. ITV Report

Juror narrowly avoids jail after researching ongoing trial

A juror narrowly avoided jail after he ignored a judge's warnings and researched an ongoing trial online.

Aslam Dhamani caused a two-week trial to collapse which forced an expensive retrial when he researched issues that had been raised during the proceedings.

The 41-year-old was acting as the foreman of the jury during the trial at Snaresbook Crown Court, in 2016.

Jurors are not allowed to do their own research during criminal trials or share what they discover with other members of the jury.

Dhamani, of Buckhurst Hill, Essex, also pleaded guilty to sharing the information he found with other jurors, causing the entire jury to be dismissed, forcing a retrial.

He was given a seven month prison sentence suspended for 12 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London.

Jurors are clearly warned it is an offence to carry out their own research during trials and doing so could lead to a prison sentence of up to two years.

They are also warned about sharing that information with other jurors, which is a separate offence.

Anyone who ignores those warnings and violates the rules designed to create fair trials can expect to find themselves facing prosecution.

– Elaine Cousins, senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service North London