Regina v Gorman: CACD 1987

Lord Lane CJ said: ‘ . . certain propositions can now be set out as to what should be done by a judge who receives a communication from a jury which has retired to considered its verdict.
First of all, if the communication raises something unconnected with the trial, for example a request for some message be sent to a relative of one of the jurors, it can simply be dealt with without any reference to counsel and without bringing the jury back to court . .
Secondly, in almost every other case a judge should state in open court the nature and content of the communication which he has received from the jury and, if he considers it helpful so to do, seek the assistance of counsel. This assistance will normally be sought before the jury is asked to return to court and then, when the jury returns, the judge will deal with their communication.
Exceptionally if, as in the present case, the communication from the jury contains information which the jury need not, and indeed should not, have imparted, such as details of voting figures as we have called them, then, so far as possible the communication should be dealt with in the normal way, save that the judge should not disclose the detailed information which the jury ought not to have revealed .’
A criminal trial continues until verdicts have been returned or the jury has been discharged from returning verdicts.


Lord Lane CJ


[1987] 85 Cr App R 121


England and Wales

Cited by:

EndorsedRamstead v The Queen PC 2-Dec-1998
New Zealand. Where a judge had received a note from the jury as to intended riders to their verdict, he was obliged to notify counsel and, having seen the foreman of the jury in chambers in counsel’s absence, the verdicts had constituted a material . .
CitedRegina v Tantram; Regina v Bibby etc CACD 24-May-2001
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy in have combined to put into the human food chain poultry meat which had been condemned as unfit. The jury after retiremen had indicated that they had reached agreement on some . .
CitedTurk (Deceased) v Regina CACD 6-Apr-2017
Defendant’s death stops trial immediately
At his trial for serious sexual offences, the jury passed a note to the judge saying that they had reached unanimous verdicts on several counts. The judge did not pass the note to counsel, but instead asked the jury to retire overnight to try again . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.534461