Facebook Contempt: First Juror Jailed for Internet Use

Earlier this morning at London’s High Court, 40 year old Joanne Frail confessed that she indeed communicated with Jamie Sewart- an already acquitted defendant in an ongoing multimillion-pound drug trial in Manchester last year- via the most visited website in the world, Facebook.

Though Sewart had already been acquitted at the time of the contact, other defendants were still on trial, causing the case to collapse.

According to Fraill, she reached out to Sewart because she saw “considerable parallels” between the their lives.

In addition to contacting Ms Sewart, Fraill also admitted to looking up the defendant’s boyfriend, Gary Knox, while the jury was still in the deliberation process.

Sewart recieved a two month sentence suspended for two years after being found guilty of contempt.

Lord Judge is reportedly expected to implement new guidelines on internet use by jurors, which will include warnings from judges to jurors at the start of trials, information videos, and notices throughout jury rooms, all of which he will argue will lead to contempt of court prosecutions.

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Here is a post-trial video of reporters asking Jamie Sewart whether or not she will continue to use Facebook.

You can read the full transcript of their Facebook chat at Guardian’s website.

via Telegraph