Wiltshire

Judge excused jury duty after case mix-up

Judge Keith Cutler Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The judge was told he would have to sit as a juror

A senior judge has revealed he was excused from jury service, because he was due to preside over the case in question.

Keith Cutler, the resident judge of Winchester and Salisbury, said he was surprised when he got the call up.

But his reason for not doing his duty was initially rejected when he contacted the Jury Central Summoning Bureau directly to explain.

Judge Cutler said the bureau realised its mistake when he called them back.

The judge, who served as the coroner for the inquest of Mark Duggan, said he would have happily served as a juror if it had been appropriate.

I am the judge

He told a jury: "I was selected for jury service here at Salisbury Crown Court for a trial starting 23 April.

"I told the Jury Central Summoning Bureau that I thought I would be inappropriate seeing I happened to be the judge and knew all the papers.

"They wrote back to me, they picked up on the fact I was the judge but said 'your appeal for refusal has been rejected but you could apply to the resident judge' but I told them 'I am the resident judge'.

"I had to phone them up and they realised it was a mistake."

The judge added: "I would have liked to have done the jury service to see what it was like and whether I would have liked the judge."

A guide to jury summons issued by the Ministry of Justice states: "The normal expectation is that everyone summoned for jury service will serve at the time for which they are summoned.

"However, it is recognised that there will be occasions when it is not reasonable for a person to serve at the time for which they are summoned."

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