Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Trial Jury discharged ~ Judge completed the case

Mr Justice Goss
In the Crown Court at Leeds, Mr Justice Goss found it necessary to discharge the jury in the trial of Sabir Hussain, Raja Hussain and Shahrear Islam Miah.   The defendants were charged with manslaughter arising from a staged collision on the roads which caused the death of Betty Laird (aged 88).  The collision was staged for the purposes of making fraudulent claims against insurers.

The jury was discharged because it came to light that there had been a concerted attempt to tamper with the jury.  In such a situation the trial judge has a power to discharge the jury and continue with the trial - Criminal Justice Act 2003 section 46.  The judge has to be satisfied that jury tampering has occurred and that to continue with the trial would be fair to the defendant(s).

The judge's verdict may be read via the Judiciary website.   Sabir and Raja Hussain were found guilty of manslaughter and Shahrear Miah was acquitted.  All three were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

The Judge made it clear that he had not addressed his mind to endeavouring to reach a conclusion as to who was or may have been responsible for the jury tampering or on whose behalf. Accordingly, he ignored for the purposes of his decisions the fact that some people sought to influence the outcome of the trial.  Further, he did not hold it against any of the defendants that this occurred and that the jury had to be discharged.

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