Trial halted as 'juror approached on Facebook'

Mold Crown Court
Image caption The trial at Mold Crown Court was halted on Tuesday

A trial has been halted amid allegations a juror was approached through Facebook by someone who had been sitting in the public gallery.

The jury sitting at the child sexual abuse trial at Mold Crown Court was discharged on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the court heard that police were investigating allegations of perverting the course of justice.

It comes amid claims someone took down jurors' names as they were being sworn in and later messaged a female juror.

Mark Connor, prosecuting, said it had also been alleged the complainant had been the subject of threats before the trial via social media.

Defendant Stephen Kingsley, 31, of Crud y Gwyn in Denbigh, was remanded in custody until Friday, when the situation would be reviewed, Judge Rhys Rowlands said

'Very unusual'

Mr Kingsley denies a series of allegations of historic child sexual abuse over a seven-year period.

Judge Rowlands said that it was a matter of great concern.

"This is very unusual in Mold," he said.

"I will not have trials derailed in this way."

Mr Conner said police were investigating the possibility of a conspiracy to interfere with the course of justice "involving a number of individuals".

Mr Kingsley denies three counts of sexually assaulting a child, two counts of assault and thee charges of sexual activity with a child.

He also denies four counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and one charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between 2004 and 2011.

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