The defendant was tried for causing grievous bodily harm. After a majority direction, the jury returned, finding him guity. When asked if this was ‘the verdict of you all’, the formean replied ‘Yes’. The day after, he wrote to the judge to say that it had in fact been a majority verdict.
Held: The appeal failed. The lerk had asked the correct questions, and the answer had been unambigous. Returning a different verdict was not an issue, because it was not open to the Court to enquire further.
Lord Bingham CJ referred to section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act and said: ‘It would in our judgment set a very dangerous precedent if, save in quite extraordinary circumstances, an apparently unanimous verdict of a jury delivered in open court, and not then and there challenged by any juror, were to be re-opened and subjected to scrutiny. Suppose, for example, a majority verdict of 10 to2 were publicly announced without contradiction and a third juror thereafter claimed to have dissented. Or suppose there were in the circumstances of a case such as the present, disagreement whether the jurors had dissented or not. It is very difficult to see how that is a question which this court could properly investigate.’
References:  EWCA Crim 1203,  1 Cr App R 61
Judges: Lord Bingham CJ
Statutes: Juries Act 1973 17(3), Contempt of Court Act 1981 8
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case cites:
- Cited – Regina v Pigg HL 1982
The appellant was charged on indictment with two counts of attempted rape. The jury failed to agree on their first retirement following the summing-up, and were then given an impeccable majority direction. They returned to court after a further . .
( 1 WLR 6,  1 All ER 56, (1982) 76 Cr App R 79)
- Cited – Regina v Barry 1975
The jury returned after three hours retirement and said they had not reached a verdict. The judge did not give a majority direction, but a somewhat garbled version of a Walhein direction. The clerk asked the foreman whether the jury had reached a . .
( 1 WLR 1190)
- Cited – Regina v Maloney (PJ) CACD 25-Mar-1996
The jury retired on a Friday. They did not agree and a majority direction was given. Later the clerk asked the foreman whether at least 10 of the jury were agreed upon a verdict. He answered, ‘Yes’. Asked what the verdict was, the foreman answered, . .
(Times 25-Mar-96,  2 Cr App R 303)
- Cited – Regina v Parkin 1824
The court asked whena jury might be allowed to change a verdict delivered. . .
((1824) 1 Moody CC 45)
- Cited – Rex v Vodden 1853
The court considered when a jury might be allowed to change its verdict. one of the jurors delivered a verdict of not guilty. The clerk heard, so did the chairman, who heard the same words. The prisoner was discharged from the dock. Others of the . .
((1853) Dears 229, (1853) 169 ER 706)
- Cited – Regina v Mendy 1992
After a long fraud trial a majority direction was given. The foreman returned a verdict of guilty on count 1. He answered the question whether this was a verdict of ‘you all or by a majority’, ‘By a majority of us all.’ A disturbance at the back of . .
( Crim LR 313)
- Cited – Regina v Carter and Canavan 1964
The court considered when a jury might change its verdict. . .
( 2 QB 1,  48 Cr App R 122)
- Cited – Regina v Russell CACD 20-Mar-1984
The defendant was charged with obstructing a police officer under the 1971 Act. The jury was given a majority direction, but when brought back to court about two hours later, at 3.16 pm, they had still been unable to reach a decision. The judge then . .
( Crim LR 425,  148 JP 765)
- Cited – Regina v Andrews 1986
Two defendants were tried for causing injuries to one child. The jury convicted the female defendant, of positive acts of cruelty against the child and returned a verdict of not guilty of those acts in respect of the male defendant. After the police . .
((1986) 82 Cr App R 148)
- Cited – Regina v Follen 1994
Juries – verdict alteration . .
( Crim LR 225)
- Cited – Regina v Young (Stephen) CACD 30-Dec-1994
Jury Consulting Ouija Board – Serious Irregularity
It had been suggested that during their overnight stay in a hotel after retiring to consider their verdict, some of the jurors had consultated an ouija board to consult with the deceased, and to ask him who had been his killer. Having believed that . .
(Gazette 08-Feb-95, Times 30-Dec-94, Ind Summary 16-Jan-95, (1995) 2 Cr App R 379,  QB 324,  2 WLR 430)
This case is cited by:
- Cited – Regina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .
(,  UKHL 2, , Times 23-Jan-04,  2 WLR 201,  1 AC 1118,  HRLR 11, 16 BHRC 279,  2 Cr App R 8,  1 All ER 925)
- Cited – Regina 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 . .
(Times 20-Jul-01,  EWCA Crim 1364, )
These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.154077