Transcript of the Hearing 18 December 2013

 

           1                                    Wednesday, 18 December 2013

           2   (10.30 am)

           3   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Right, we'll have the cameras off,

           4       please, and the jury in.  Thank you.

           5                  (In the presence of the jury)

           6   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Right, firstly, let us hear from our

           7       jury bailiffs, swearing the usual oaths, please.

           8                      (Jury bailiffs sworn)

           9   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Thank you very much.  Now, let me

          10       just say a few words to the jury so that you will know

          11       what the position is.  It is very important for me to

          12       give you this direction.

          13                  Majority direction to the jury

          14   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  You first started to consider your

          15       determinations/conclusions last Wednesday in the

          16       afternoon, as you will remember.  You worked fully all

          17       day Friday, the 13th, and Monday, the 16th, and now

          18       yesterday, Tuesday 17th.

          19           In the circumstances, a reasonable time is now

          20       elapsed and it does allow me, and I am going to do this,

          21       to give you a direction concerning a majority conclusion

          22       or decision.

          23           Now, I do not know, for obvious reasons that we are

          24       all aware of, what progress you are making, whether you

          25       are many days away and working slowly through it and


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           1       have not yet come to your final conclusions or not.

           2       That may be a matter totally for you.  Indeed, what I am

           3       saying may not actually be welcomed by you at the

           4       moment, I just do not know, but it might be.

           5           What I am going to do is to say this to you, that

           6       from now on the law allows me to accept a majority

           7       decision on any of the determinations, or indeed the

           8       conclusion, that is put before you in Form 2, of which

           9       at least eight out of the ten of you are agreed.  So it

          10       can be 8:2, 9:1 or 10:0, obviously.

          11           You will understand it is much, much better for the

          12       court, and for you, to deliver a decision on each of

          13       these questions on which you are all agreed,

          14       an unanimous decision.

          15           So the direction goes really in this form:

          16           Please, in a moment or two, retire from the court,

          17       continue the work you are doing, and clearly aim firstly

          18       for determinations and conclusions for which all ten of

          19       you are agreed.  Alternatively, if you have already

          20       reached that stage and decided that you cannot all be

          21       agreed, then try again to see whether you can reach

          22       agreements on these questions on which you are all

          23       agreed.

          24           However, if you are unable to do that, having tried

          25       further, then, as I say, in law I am able to accept


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           1       determinations and conclusions on which at least eight

           2       of you agree.

           3           On the Form 2, as you know, you are all required to

           4       sign the final document.  The signature there is really

           5       confirming that all ten of you agree with the accuracy

           6       and contents of the form so I am not asking, for

           7       example, if one person disagrees with the main

           8       conclusion, for that person not to sign.  All ten of you

           9       need to sign because you are witnessing the accuracy of

          10       the contents of the form and this issue is not one of

          11       trying to identify any one minority juror at all.

          12           So what will happen is that you will all sign the

          13       form but if there is an answer which is not unanimous in

          14       which, let's say, only eight or nine of you agree, then

          15       please write on the form by the box that you have ticked

          16       something, words to the effect of "by a majority of 8:2

          17       or 9:1" or indeed it would be helpful, if the answer is

          18       unanimous, for you to say "unanimous" next to the tick

          19       box on the form.

          20           Please be aware that this is a direction which I am

          21       giving you.  You have not asked me to give it to you,

          22       but I am doing it really as part of the transparency and

          23       openness.  It is only right that you should know there

          24       is this stage available which I have now put before you,

          25       but please also be aware that there is no future time to


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           1       come back, I do not have you back in the future and say

           2       we are down to six or seven out of ten.  It never gets

           3       any better, eight is the lowest number it will ever get.

           4           Another aspect of this hearing is that we are all

           5       concerned that you should not be under any pressure of

           6       time, so the mere fact that I am telling you this is not

           7       me saying "Please, hurry up, we are heading towards

           8       Christmas", in fact, quite the opposite is the case.

           9       You must have as long as you want.

          10           We have taken much longer in presenting evidence to

          11       you than we initially anticipated and from time to time

          12       when I have asked you to leave us while we argue about

          13       the law, I say "Well, there will come a time when you

          14       keep us waiting", and this is the time.  You must have

          15       as much as time as you want.

          16           At the same time, it seems better to release any

          17       pressure if you were to know of the future timetable and

          18       for you, through your foreman, through a note to me, to

          19       see whether this causes any difficulties.  What is

          20       proposed, that clearly you will be sitting all today if

          21       you need it and all tomorrow if you need it, there are

          22       no problems about that.  But I have to sit elsewhere,

          23       I have other judicial duties to perform, on Friday.  So

          24       I am not going to be in London I am going to have to sit

          25       elsewhere, so we are not going to sit on Friday, I never


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           1       have been able to I am afraid.

           2           My thoughts are that if we are still in a position

           3       whereby you are out considering matters on Thursday at

           4       the close of play, 4.00, 4.30, whenever that may be,

           5       that that will be the time for us to adjourn over the

           6       Christmas break.

           7           So what I will be proposing is we then stop on that

           8       Thursday, have a two-week break and come back on

           9       Thursday, 2 January and go on from there.  There is no

          10       problems about having a break of that length, you have

          11       all the features and all the facts, you have all the

          12       documents, we just seal up your jury room, you go off

          13       and enjoy the festive season in whatever way you want,

          14       then come back and you will be able to pick up matters

          15       and continue working in that way.

          16           It has been found that it is much better to do that

          17       rather than trying to push in a few hours on Christmas

          18       Eve, or anything of that nature, which obviously will

          19       not be particularly welcomed by many, I am sure.

          20           So that's what I'm proposing.  I am quite happy for

          21       you through a note or through your foreman writing me

          22       a note to let me know whether that is an acceptable

          23       alternative if you are able to do that and for me then

          24       to consider the position further at that stage.

          25           In any event, all I want you to do is to be aware


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           1       that that is available to you, you are not under any

           2       pressure of time.  Please continue to work towards

           3       unanimity of decision but, as I have said, if that does

           4       elude you then there is that provision now where I can

           5       accept a decision on which at least eight of you are

           6       agreed.

           7           All right?  Thank you very much.  If you would like

           8       then to leave us and continue with your work.

           9      (The jury retired to continue their deliberations at

          10                            10.40 am)

          22   (10.41 am)

          23                      (The court adjourned)

          24   (4.20 pm)


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          24                (The jury returned into the court)

          25   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Right, thank you very much, members

 

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           1       of the jury.  It is important for us to have this formal

           2       greeting in the morning and ending in the afternoon, not

           3       just to count you in to make sure we still have ten of

           4       you but also it's a formality for the court proceedings

           5       to make sure that you are well aware of the fact that

           6       the jury bailiffs have been sworn in to look after you,

           7       which they have been looking after you all day, and

           8       I discharge them from their oaths for today and also for

           9       me to repeat -- I know he sound like a broken record

          10       now -- the warnings please not to talk with anyone about

          11       the case, not to talk amongst yourselves about the case

          12       until 10.30 tomorrow and obviously not to do any more

          13       work on the case of any sort, just put it to one side in

          14       your mind and come back, as I have been saying to you,

          15       refreshed and ready to go tomorrow morning at 10.30.

          16           All right.  So thank you very much indeed.  If you

          17       would like to leave us now and be ready for 10.30

          18       tomorrow.

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           1   (4.25 pm)

           2       (The Inquest adjourned until 10.30 am on Thursday,

           3                        19 December 2013)

           4
               Majority direction to the jury .......................1
           5

           6

           7

                 
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