No action against juror over MP3 player

LONDON Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:12pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The attorney general decided on Thursday that no action would be taken against a Muslim woman accused of listening to an MP3 music player under her hijab while on jury duty.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was thrown off the jury considering a murder trial when one of her fellow jurors reported seeing headphone wires coming out of her headscarf.

Attorney General Baroness Patricia Scotland had "carefully" considered the case and decided not to press criminal charges, saying it would be too difficult to prove if the woman was guilty, a spokeswoman for her office said.

"(She) has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of proving beyond reasonable doubt any alleged contempt of court," the spokeswoman said.

The suspected incident had occurred during a trial in June at London's Blackfriars Court of a man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death.

The case was briefly halted while the woman, who could have been jailed if found guilty of contempt, was discharged from the jury and arrested.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there had been contempt cases where people had taken pictures using mobile phones in court, but it was believed to be the first of its kind involving a juror suspected of listening to music.

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