'Too HOMOPHOBIC and RACIST' to be a juror…?
A man has told Southampton Crown Court he is unfit for jury service due to his ‘extreme racist and homophobic views’. The potential juror (who cannot be named for legal […]
A man has told Southampton Crown Court he is unfit for jury service due to his ‘extreme racist and homophobic views’.
The potential juror (who cannot be named for legal reasons) wrote to the judge after he was allocated to the case of a man on trial for assault and dangerous driving.
His letter was read out in court by president judge Gary Burrell QC . It contained the claim that the man would be unable to form an impartial judgement if the defendant in question should happen to be homosexual or of an ethic minority group.
I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service,’ it said. ‘I hold extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people’.
The man has now been threatened with Contempt of Court, after also admitting that he would be likely to go with a majority vote instead of revealing his true feeling so as to shorten the length of the case. Whilst Judge Burrell agreed that someone harbouring such strong beliefs would not be fit for jury service, he also pointed out that this could simply be an attempt to manipulate the legal system.
If you do genuinely hold these views then you are someone who should not be on the jury and I question whether you should be doing anything responsible in society at all’, said Judge Burrell.
The case was referred to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, and an investigation of the incident is now underway.