Judge raps teenager who texted gossip to juror

By Alistair Keely,Press Association
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:21

A judge criticised a teenager after she jeopardised two crown court trials by texting gossip claiming a defendant was a paedophile.

Danielle Robinson, 19, was serving on a jury at Hull Crown Court when she sent two messages to a woman juror sitting on another trial.

She passed on "gossip" she had heard outside the court about a defendant in a second trial.

The accusations were totally unsubstantiated and later found to be a pure fabrication.

She appeared at Hull Crown Court yesterday after admitting a charge of contempt of court.

The unmarried mother wept as the judge handed her an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

A spokeswoman for the judiciary confirmed the judge's criticism of the teenager.

Judge Roger Thorn QC said: "You blatantly breached ... instructions about no communication with others.

"Even that juror warned you she should not talk about the case. The text message could not have been more damaging.

"Despite being told by the other juror she could not talk about it, you sent the message saying the person had been to prison. And that he was a paedophile. About which there was no evidence."

He said she had demonstrated a lack of common sense and had "let down your own generation".

Robinson, of Greatfield Estate, Hull, was said to be remorseful and very sorry for the trouble she had caused.

Both jurors had to be discharged but neither trial collapsed as a result of her actions.