Halifax teenager who told court staff he was too ill for jury duty is locked up by judge

A teenage juror who claimed he was too ill to attend during a trial for causing grievous bodily harm has been locked up for being in contempt of court.

Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 12:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 12:11 pm
Court artist sketch of Judge Jonathan Rose. Sketch by Julia Quenzler.

Unemployed 19-year-old Aqib Wahid had been a member of the jury hearing the case of two Keighley brothers accused of attacking a taxi driver outside his home, but as the trial reached its conclusion last month he contacted staff at Bradford Crown Court to say he was too unwell to attend.

Judge Jonathan Rose, who is understood to have started his summing up of the evidence, was forced to adjourn the case for a day, but Wahid, of Francis Street, Halifax, was told he would have to come to court the next day and provide a sick note explaining his absence.

But the former motor mechanics student failed to attend and Judge Rose had to discharge him from the jury so that the remaining 11 jurors could continue to hear the case and return their verdicts.

The jury eventually found Abdul Jabar, 28, and his 19-year-old brother Mohammed Abbas, both of Drake Street, guilty of wounding Safraz Din with intent to do him grievous bodily harm and they were each jailed for 12 years.

Yesterday Wahid attended at the court to admit his contempt and Judge Rose sentenced him to seven days in a young offenders institution.

Barrister Ian Hudson, for Wahid, said he had eaten some food over the weekend and he was suffering from “food poisoning” on the day he failed to attend at court. He said he was still ill for two or three days after, but Wahid now accepted he should have done more than he did.

Judge Rose pointed out that no sick note had been provided and he only had Wahid’s word for that fact that he was unwell.

Mr Hudson described Wahid as “naive and immature” and said he was remorseful and fearful of going into custody. “He accepts he wasted the court’s time when he did not attend on the 12th,” he said.