A JURY MEMBER was caught reading a golf magazine during a crown court trial which he found “boring”.
David Barron was looking at “bargain golf clubs for sale” instead of listening to evidence being given during a robbery trial this week.
The 60-year-old who lives in the Portswood area of Southampton was issued a summons for contempt of court to appear at Southampton Crown Court on Friday.
Judge Peter Henry said: “Another juror could clearly see something going on and drew that to the attention of the usher.
“You were holding the jury folder in front of you, but the usher discovered you were reading a magazine.”
He added: “Once that had been brought to my attention, I immediately asked the jury to leave the court and asked you to be separated. And, during the course of that separation, it appears you had a conversation with the usher.”
Mr Barron is said to have told the court usher the trial was “boring” and he “could not be bothered with the proceedings”.
He was discharged from the jury and even asked to have his edition of Golf Monthly returned to him – however his request was refused.
Describing himself as retired, Mr Barron who chose to represent himself, admitted to his conduct.
He said: “I am ashamed, and I am very sorry for my actions. I should not have done it. It was very disrespectful.”
Judge Henry said he was glad that Mr Barron had “owned up” and added: “I hope you do feel ashamed by what you have done and that you will reflect.”
He was ordered to pay a £150 fine within 28 days or face one day in prison.
Contempt of court is when someone risks unfairly influencing a court case and may stop a defendant getting a fair trial.
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