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Is 19 very young to be juror?

  johndrew 15:23 23 Dec 2011

I was watching the news at lunch time when a report was screened on the subject of a 19 year old who went to a theatre rather than his juror duties. His father also commented that he was only young and should not have been punished.

Given that there are lads and lassies of a similar age who perform this task conscientiously, not to mention those who are in the armed forces who have a more arduous task, What is your opinion?

  bremner 15:27 23 Dec 2011

Absoluely no reason why the age should be changed.

This lad acted stupidly but the punishment in my view was ridiculously excessive. A community sentence, cleaning up public areas would more than served the purpose.

  oresome 15:40 23 Dec 2011

Certainly too young for a male to be a jurior. Females tend to be more adult at this age.

I don't think the sentence was excessive, particularly as he's now been released early.

  spuds 15:41 23 Dec 2011

People 19 years old, can have a whole host of responsibilities, and what this person did, was not 'a silly thing' but complete contempt of court or the justice system.

Even the remark about the judge just flexing his muscles, might possibly prove the way this person was thinking. Apparently the person was just expecting a naughty boy sermon, but as he and the world now know, that just didn't happen. Person Nil marks- Judge Top marks?.

  Quickbeam 16:19 23 Dec 2011

It happens now and again, so now all his mates, and all that have read of it will know what respect is due to a judicial bench.

It's a pity that due respect, on pain of severe punishment, doesn't carry into the real world of the much abused public (think big man chucks gobby runt off train and the likes that happens too often).

  john bunyan 16:35 23 Dec 2011

If he's old enough to get killed in Afghanistan, were he a soldier, he is old enough (if immature) to sit on a jury. Hope he learns a lesson.

  QuizMan 17:08 23 Dec 2011

Considerable expense is incurred when trials are delayed. Apart from court and judicial costs, there are barristers & solicitors fees, some paid by us via legal aid, plus CPS and Probation Service to name the major ones.

A delay of a day or two might also have a knock on effect where future trials involving the above participating parties cannot commence.

The young man was stupid and selfish and got exactly what he deserved.

  Forum Editor 17:32 23 Dec 2011

At nineteen this man should have enough sense to realise that his self-centred act inconvenienced a lot of others, and cost the taxpayer a considerable sum.

He lied, and he should be mature enough to accept the consequences. I have zero sympathy for him.

  TopCat® 18:21 23 Dec 2011

"I had already served two weeks and I was on my last day of jury service." says it all for me. I'll bet now he makes sure he claims for every expense due to a juror, for each day of the trial he was present. TC.

  johndrew 18:53 23 Dec 2011

It is good to know there are those around who have very similar views to those I hold.

Having done jury service - I was well above 19 years of age - I am aware that every potential member was actually asked if there is any likelihood they may need 'time off' or not be able to complete the service period. The result of a failure to attend without good reason is also made very apparent. I doubt that tickets to a show would count as a valid reason and the actions of this youth show contempt for the democracy in which we live.

  bremner 19:19 23 Dec 2011


"to be judged by ones peers" has been a cornerstone of the jury system. However it has also often been said that a jury consists of 12 people too stupid to avoid jury service.

The system would be liable to collapse if jurors were required to reach a certain level of knowledge or intelligence. The system has it's flaws but it is still the best available.

I worry more that because of jury knobbling, complexity of fraud cases and the cost of a crown court trial, governments will be more liable to replace juries with judging panels and make more charges summary only.

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