Coronavirus: Trial at Gloucester Crown Court abandoned

coronavirus trial at gloucester crown court abandoned - Coronavirus: Trial at Gloucester Crown Court abandonedImage copyright Google
Image caption The trial at Gloucester Crown Court was abandoned after a juror began to self-isolate

A trial was abandoned after a barrister complained it was “more hygienic in the cells than it is in the actual court”.

Prosecutor Ian Fenny made the remarks after a juror at Gloucester Crown Court “felt obliged to self-isolate” when a family member fell ill.

Mr Fenny, who donned white disposable gloves, bemoaned the “lack of hand sanitation” in public areas.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC discharged the remaining jury members and adjourned proceedings.

Barristers in England and Wales have demanded a halt to jury trials as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Mr Fenny told the court in Gloucester he was “wearing white gloves to make a point on hygiene”.

“How can we be expected to continue this trial in light of the current circumstances?”

Barrister Caighli Taylor agreed, saying “the panel cannot deliberate in such an enclosed jury room.

“The jury box in this court is equally as small.”

The abandoned trial involved Pete Ashton, 52, from Angel Vale, Coleford, Gloucester, who was accused of setting fire to Victoria Garage, Newnham on Severn, between October 17 and 20, 2018.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC thanked jurors for their service and adjourned Mr Ashton’s retrial for a later date.

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