Glasgow & West Scotland

'Bribe juror' denies trying to influence trial outcome

Joseph Leahy and his mother, Catherine Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Joseph Leahy and his mother, Catherine

A juror accused of taking a bribe has told a court she never tried to influence the outcome of a case.

Catherine Leahy, 62, who was the spokesperson on a drugs trafficking and money laundering trial said she did not receive any financial advantage.

The former classroom assistant also denied trying to influence the jury in the trial of Graham Clarke, his wife Lindsay and others.

All the charges against Mr Clarke were found not proven.

His wife was convicted of mortgage fraud.

'One of 14'

Asked by her defence QC Thomas Ross if she received any benefit from her jury service, Ms Leahy replied: "Absolutely not."

When questioned if she tried to influence her fellow jurors, she said: "No. I was only one out of 14.

"I don't how they would have expected me to influence the jury in any way.

The trial of Mr Clarke, his wife Lindsay and others ran from 2 November 2015 to 14 April 2016.

One juror was dismissed during the trial.

Leahy told the jury that she first heard of the allegations from a taxi driver.

She added: "The driver said: 'Guess what I heard the jury had been nobbled.'"

Facebook message

The accused told the court that she and 12 of the other jurors kept in touch by Facebook messenger and said she put a comment on there about what the taxi driver had told her.

Mr Ross asked: "Were there any responses?"

Leahy replied: "Yeah. It was more a case of laughing.

"We tended to treat it as a joke actually."

The witness said the rumours were "totally untrue"

Ms Leahy denies that she agreed to "receive or accept a financial or other advantage," and that she performed her task as a juror "improperly".

'Strict budget'

She said in evidence she did not know Graham Clarke and did not know of any indirect contact with any of the accused and her son.

The trial previously heard Joseph Leahy, 22, was friends with a relative of Mr Clarke.

Mr Leahy, who was originally on trial along with his mother before charges against him were dropped, revealed his friend Darren Jaconelli was Mr Clarke's nephew.

Prosecutors allege, while she was serving as a juror , Ms Leahy agreed to "receive or accept a financial or other advantage".

Mr Leahy, who was originally on trial along with his mother before charges against him were dropped, told prosecutor Iain McSporran QC that he did not realise his link to the case until the trial ended.

Leahy was asked about her financial affairs and said: "It was a strict budget I had to live on."

The court was told that at the time of the trial she had her salary as a classroom assistant and a widow's pension.

She told the court that she regularly saved money in a menage (type of savings club) and received £7,584,04 from a British Shipbuilders pension in September 2015.

The trial before Lord Turnbull continues.

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