A man who took pictures of the defendant in a murder and rape trial was jailed for 14 days today Tuesday 13th October.
The 34 year old used his Samsung mobile to take four pictures of the dock from the public gallery at Luton crown court.
The images were of the defendant, 32, who is accused sexually assaulting one woman, raping a 60-year-old grandmother and then stabbing to death a 20 year old in a two and a quarter hour spree of extreme violence on 26 May 2013.
The man, who had been seated in the public gallery, was arrested for contempt of court by the court’s liaison officer and taken to the cells.
He had ignored warning signs at the door of the court saying it is an offence to take photographs inside the court. There was also a large sign on the wall of the public gallery saying ‘No Mobile Phones.’
At the end of the afternoon he was brought up to the dock himself to face the trial judge, Michael Kay QC.
His lawyer Andrew Morton said the man had made ‘frank admissions and was contrite.’
He said: “It was immature and out of order. He was unaware of the dire consequences of taking photographs in court. He is naive rather than wicked.”
The defendant went into the witness box to say that he had been released from prison a fortnight ago having spent 10 months on remand before being acquitted of a robbery charge. He already had 16 convictions for 34 offences.
He said: ” I was not thinking. It was childish and immature. I am sorry. “
The judge said he did not believe him when he said he had taken the photos for personal use and was not going to show them to anyone else. He ordered that the photos are deleted before the phone is returned to him.
He said: “It is a severe contempt of court. I am sure you took them so they could be shown and for further distribution.”