In the quiet hush of post-verdict courtroom, a senior judge praised the jury for its efforts in the Vicky Pryce trial, a stark contrast to the public ridicule heaped on the original panel which failed to reach a verdict.
Mr Justice Sweeney told the seven men and five women that they had assiduously performed their duties in a case in the public spotlight because of the high-profile defendants in the case and the farcical end to the original trial.
Two weeks ago, the same judge lamented “fundamental deficits of understanding” by the original jury which submitted a long list of basic questions before it was discharged for failing to reach a verdict. The second trial – whose questions were limited to asking what was for lunch and court timings – reached a unanimous verdict on its third day of deliberations.
“You have had to deal with a case against a backdrop of publicity which has not necessarily been encouraging,” said the judge. “If I may say so, it’s been absolutely obvious to everybody in court that you have discharged your duties assiduously and throughout for a case that cannot have been easy for you to decide.”
He said that he hoped that they had found the process “challenging but ultimately rewarding”.
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