UK

Vicky Pryce Trial: Debate Over Use Of Juries In Trials

21/02/2013 16:49 GMT

The collapse of the trial of Vicky Pryce has prompted a debate about the effectiveness of jury trials.

The ex-wife of former Cabinet Minister, Chris Huhne, faces a retrial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict on charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to the transfer of speeding points.

vicky pryce Vicky Pryce faces a trial after the case collapsed

Mr Justice Sweeney said in 30 years he had never seen a situation like it after being presented with a list of questions after they had spent 14 hours considering the case.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday morning, Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, and former lord chief justice Lord Woolf, both said more research was needed into how juries reached decisions.

Here are five more examples of juries that have failed to do their job.

Juror Joanne Fraill, 40, was jailed in 2010 for making Facebook contact with someone involved in a drugs trial - causing the £6 million case to collapse.

Two brothers jailed for misleading customers over their 'Lapland' themed attraction in the New Forest had their convictions quashed because a juror had been texting her fiance in the public gallery during the trial. The prosecution had cost the council almost £100,000.

A £12 million drugs trial was dramatically halted in March 2012 after a female juror, reportedly drunk, fell asleep. She was later fined £250 after admitting contempt of court.

A former university lecturer, 34-year-old Theodora Dallas, was jailed for six months in January 2012 after carrying out online research about the defendant in a trial.

In July 2010, 19-year-old Danielle Robinson was handed a suspended prison sentence after texting a woman on another jury at Hull Crown Court with unsubstantiated rumours about a defendant.