A teenager who filmed part of a court case on his mobile phone, which included footage of the jury, almost wrecked the sensitive trial.
 
But a Judge said he was taking a merciful course by not sending the 18 year old into custody.
 
Judge Philip Bartle QC said he accepted that the youth did not understand the consequences of what he was doing due to his limited intellect.
 
Stephen Halloran, of Lawtons, defending the teenager said: “He has extremely low levels of literacy and was not experienced in the criminal courts.
 
“He did not understand the consequences of what he was doing.”
 
Max Hardy, prosecuting told Luton Crown Court that on Oct 28 this year the defendant was in the public gallery at the court listening to a sensitive trial in which members of his family were witnesses.
 
It became apparent that he was filming the event on his mobile phone. The phone was seized and four minutes of footage was found, which included the Judge and jury.
 
He was kept in a police cell overnight and the following day, after taking legal advice, he admitted being in contempt of court and said he apologised but did not forsee the consequences of his actions.
 
Judge Bartle who was presiding over the trial, said the jury were extremely concerned that they had been filmed and anxious that it might be posted on social media sites.
 
But he decided to allow the trial to continue. If there had been a retrial it would have meant some witnesses having to give evidence for a second time.
 
Judge Bartle said: “It is not the case that people can come along and take photos. You caused the jurors to be very upset at what you had done”
 
“I have also taken into consideration that you were detained in a police station which must have been a very unpleasant experience.”
 
He imposed a fine of £150.