Tyne & Wear

Juror sentenced for internet research on convictions

A juror who carried out internet research during a trial has been given a suspended jail sentence at London's High Court.

Karl Stoddart, 29, was on a jury hearing a case at Newcastle Crown Court in July 2014 when he researched the defendant's previous convictions.

He said he did not tell his fellow jurors until after they had all agreed on their verdict of guilty.

The part-time chef from Gateshead accepted he was in contempt of court.

He was given a sentence of four months in jail suspended for 12 months and he was ordered to pay £1,000 costs within three months.

After the matter came to light, the defendant's conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal and a retrial was ordered, although it did not take place.

Mr Stoddart, of Swalwell, Gateshead, said he was ashamed of his stupidity and said the proceedings had hung over him like a "living nightmare".

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