Jury told to ignore judge's remarks about witness in Fayed libel trial
Mr Justice Morland, resuming his summing up yesterday, told the jury to "very much disregard" remarks he made on Friday that one of Mr Fayed's key witnesses, his former secretary Iris Bond, had given evidence after taking some form of drug. The judge had said: "There may be nothing in it but it did appear that she might be on tranquillisers or something of that kind."
Yesterday he said: "That was an entirely personal comment and it is one that I suggest you should very much disregard because there is no evidence whatsoever that she had had a tranquilliser, nor was it suggested by Desmond Browne [Mr Hamilton's QC], it was an unjustified comment on my part."
The judge also told the jury that they must ask themselves why Mr Hamilton, the former MP for Tatton, had shown "a lack of candour and told half truths" when questioned at the time of the original allegations by the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robin Butler, and the Chief Whip, Richard Ryder. He also behaved in a similar fashion with the serving Parliamentary Commissioner, Sir Gordon Downey. The judge said that did not necessarily mean he was guilty of corruption, but the jury should examine his explanations to decide whether his behaviour was a deliberate attempt to conceal discreditable behaviour.
Mr Hamilton is suing Mr Fayed, the owner of Harrods, for libel over allegations that he had accepted thousands of pounds in cash, gifts and free holidays in return for asking parliamentary questions.
Following five hours of deliberation the jury of six women and five men returned to say that they had not reached a decision, at which point they were sent home for the night.
The jury's announcement prompted Christine Hamilton, the wife of the former Conservative minister, to break down in tears, and she had to be comforted by her husband.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...