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Littlehampton juror jailed after skipping sex offence trial to work nighshift
A juror who failed to show up for part of a sex offence trial has been jailed.
Davey Wade, 22, of Terminus Road in Littlehampton, was sentenced to 21 days in prison after failing to turn up at Chichester CrownCourt earlier this month.
The court tried to contact Wade three times, on March 4, 12 and 13.
The health care assistant claimed to be ill to avoid serving on the jury but after failing to provide any medical evidence to support his claim, he admitted that he had completed shifts at work instead.
As a result of Wade’s actions the case was delayed while the original jury was dismissed and a new one chosen from the pool.
Wade, who had apologised to the court for not showing up, was sentenced last week.
Presiding Judge William Wood QC said: “The defendant has not been able to produce any medical evidence but has had to admit today that when he said he was ill, the reality is that whatever the state of his throat, he did actually go and work the night shift from 7pm to 7am.
“He has admitted that he was not taking his duty as a juror seriously. There was simply no contact.”
Judge Wood QC compared Wade to the example of Janet Chapman, who was found to be in contempt of court for going on holiday and pretending to be ill when she was called for jury service.
“She said she had a bad back but was able to go to Malta,” he told the court.
Judge Wood QC said Wade was to be “commended” for the effort of getting a job while he was out of work.
“But jury service must come first – everyone knows that,” he said.
Judge Wood QC told Wade: “I hope you will be able to go back to your job when you come out.
But if you have lost your job you only have yourself to blame.”
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