The trial of a Warwick man accused of slashing another man's neck in a road-rage incident was dramatically halted yesterday after a juror turned up at court with two knives.
The un-named juror was planning to ?demonstrate certain matters? to his fellow jurors while they were deciding their verdict in the ill-fated trial at Warwick Crown Court.
Off-duty bus driver Daryl Henry (32) of Thornton Close, Warwick, had denied wounding landscape gardener Richard Ashton with intent to cause him serious injury.
The start of the trial was delayed by 24 hours because a security camera at the IBM premises in Warwick had captured the alleged incident on a computer disk.
But it was not compatible with the court?s audio-visual system, so the case had to be adjourned for a computer expert to link a laptop into the system.
The jury retired to consider its verdict early on the third day of the actual trial - only to be brought back into court within minutes and discharged.
In the absence of the jury, Judge James Pyke had learned that one of the jurors had had two knives confiscated from him by security officer Jez Buckley when he had arrived at court.
The Judge told the barristers in the case: ?It is a matter of some concern that when one of the jurors entered court he had two knives.?
He said that when it was explained to the juror that he could not bring them into the building he responded that the knives ?were necessary for him to demonstrate certain matters? during the jury?s deliberation.
?I am concerned that the jury is seeking to trespass beyond the evidence,? said the judge.
And after discussing the matter further with the prosecution and defence barristers, the Judge said there was no alternative other than to discharge the whole jury.
With the jurors back in court, Judge Pyke told them: ?It is a matter of regret that I have been required to ask you to return.
?I am limited in what I am able to say to you, but certain matters have been drawn to my attention which indicate developments which would render it inappropriate for you to consider this case further. I am left with no alternative but to discharge you.?
The case was adjourned for a retrial to take place at a later date, and Henry was granted bail.