Rape-trial juror fined over cannabis

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A juror on a rape trial who smoked a cannabis joint in his lunch hour was fined £450 yesterday after admitting contempt of court.

Shezad Hussain, 26, smoked only yards from the entrance to Bolton Crown Court but was seen by a juror on another case who alerted police.

Hussain at first denied but then admitted the offence, blaming stress following a violent attack on his family-owned corner shop by “gangsters”.

The father-of-one from Hamel Street, Bolton, had been one of 12 jurors on a week-long case of a man accused of raping a child.

Hussain was dismissed from the jury, which was unable to reach a verdict and a retrial was ordered.

Yesterday he appeared before Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC, sitting at Manchester Crown Court, who told him defendants, witnesses and the public were entitled to expect those on jury service to do it without taking drugs.