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Graham Russell In First Midlands ‘Covid-compliant’ Jury Trial

Graham Russell in first Midlands ‘Covid-compliant’ Jury Trial

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After a hiatus of more than two months, trial by jury has returned.

Graham Russell of Citadel Chambers prosecuted the first jury trial in the Midlands since the Covid-19 lockdown began in March 2020.

The trial took place between 26 and 28 May 2020 at the Crown Court at Warwick.

Strict social-distancing, containment and mitigation measures were put in place by the judges and court staff under the co-ordination of HHJ Lockhart QC, the resident judge.

The measures included spacing the jury at two-metre intervals over three tiers in the courtroom, using counsel’s row and the central exhibits table, and using up another court-room as a jury deliberating and retirement room.

A strict one-way system operated around the court building to preserve a two-metre distance between visitors. Jurors and counsel were provided with bottles of hand sanitiser.

The trial proceeded smoothly and efficiently, with jurors, counsel and witnesses adapting to the new measures under the supervision of HHJ Potter, the trial judge.

The trial concluded within the original three-day time estimate.

Further jury trials are scheduled to take place throughout June.

Stefan Kolodynski of St Philips Chambers defended in the trial.

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