Two women Stephanie Curtis, 29, and Laura Medlan 21, who intentionally discussed their friend’s case on a bus, which had jurors on duty, have been found guilty and sent to jail for contempt of court and intimidating the jurors.
The two young mothers were discussing the case intentionally so as to influence the jurors it is believed. The members of the jury were involved in the trial at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month.
The pair admitted contempt and feigned ignorance of the consequences of such conversation.
Medlan, a mother to a 17-month-old toddler who was jailed for five months said that she never thought that she would end up in jail. Curtis, who has a four-year-old son and was sent to prison for three months, added that she had only gone to the court to support a friend.
She said she felt sorry for the friend who had no family or anyone and the reason why she went to support him.
Curtis, of Dalton Avenue, Lynemouth, Northumberland, and Medlan, of Brook Court, Bedlington, and Northumberland attended court on March 1 to support friend Terry Tyler, who was accused of causing grievous bodily harm.
They sat in the public gallery as jurors heard the evidence in his trial. At the end of the day they got on a bus along with three members of the jury who also got on the bus.
The court heard that the pair sat next to the jurors. Curtis then made a phone call, talking about how she felt sorry for Tyler, how his case was going well, and how she thought he should not be found guilty.
Feeling intimidated the jury members got off the bus and reported the incident to the court.
Although there was no direct threats made, Judge Paul Sloan QC said the conversation of Curtis implied that the jury would be at fault if Tyler was found guilty.
The judge told the pair that though the bus was empty the pair sat beside the jurors and the moment they sat down Curtis started speaking into her mobile phone which clearly was aimed to the benefit of the members of jury.
He added that it was a message which was needed to be sent out that any attempt to interfere with a jury or jurors would be taken seriously.
Tyler’s trial went ahead despite the incident and he was found guilty.