Juror Mines for Data about Defendant on Google, Gets Six Months Imprisonment

On January 23, a juror was jailed for six months after she used Google to find out information about a rape case defendant in Luton.

The juror academic Dr Theodora Dallas informed her fellow jurors that a man facing trial for sexual assault was previously accused of rape. Apparently, she found the information in a newspaper article on the internet. This Google search violated very strict laws that are specifically designed for preventing prejudice or influence over a jury.

Due to violation of these laws, the juror had to face contempt of court charges and three High Court judges ordered six months imprisonment, the period which started yesterday. According to Lord Judge, Dallas had "deliberately disobeyed" the instructions of the trial judge not to look in the internet, reported BBC.

Dallas even resigned from psychology lecturer at Bedfordshire University and now she will be serving three months in jail and for the rest of the period she will be remaining on licence. As a matter of fact, she was even refused her right of appeal in Supreme Court.

During her trial Lord Judge commented, "The damage to the administration of justice is obvious. Misuse of the internet by a juror is always a most serious irregularity and an effective custodial sentence is virtually inevitable."