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Juror sentenced to six months after researching case online

Theodora Dallas, 34, was found to be in contempt of court after disobeying the judge’s instructions about independent research.

Attorney General for England and Wales Dominic Grieve leaves the high court after Theodora Dallas' sentencing.
Attorney General for England and Wales Dominic Grieve leaves the high court after Theodora Dallas' sentencing.
Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A UNIVERSITY lecturer who researched a defendant online as she was serving on their case’s jury has been jailed for six months in England.

Theodora Dallas, 34, was found guilty of contempt of court yesterday after the high court heard that she had researched a criminal defendant online at home before giving other jurors information about them not provided in the trial, the Telegraph reports.

Her communication led to the case being stopped, according to the Guardian, although the defendant in question was later re-tried on the grievous bodily harm charges and convicted.

The sentencing judge said that Dallas had deliberately disobeyed her oath as a juror in defying the judge’s instruction not to carry out independent research about the case. She had claimed she did not intentionally disobey the judge, but had misunderstood his directions.

The Independent reports that Dallas was sentenced to six months; she will serve three months in prison and be on licence for the remaining three.

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