UK: Would-be juror with ‘extreme’ homophobic and racist views faces prosecution

London, 10.09.2012

A man has told a judge that he could not undertake jury service because of his “extreme” prejudices.

The individual, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was selected to serve on a case involving charges of assault and dangerous driving at Southampton Crown Court.

The Telegraph reports the would-be juror wrote a letter to presiding Judge Gary Burrell QC, saying:

“I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service. I hold extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people and couldn’t possibly be impartial if either appeared in court. Therefore it would not be in the court’s interest to have me as a juror.”

The man also admitted that in his eagerness to bring any case to a swift conclusion, he would simply vote with the majority and not give his true opinion.

In response, Judge Burrell, who read the letter out in court, said:

“If you do genuinely hold these views then you are someone who should not be on the jury. I also question whether you should be doing anything responsible in society at all.”

Judge Burrell concluded it was difficult to know for sure whether those were the man’s beliefs or if he was simply trying to manipulate the system. The man, who was escorted from the court, was warned he now faced prosecution under the Contempt of Court Act for failing to serve on a jury.

Source: Pink News
Photo: Geograph (Colin Smith)