A Suffolk fraudster's appeal that his conviction was unsafe because a juror used a mobile phone during his hearing has been thrown out by a judge.

Former Mildenhall farmer Wayne Parker, who was convicted of defrauding creditors out of "hundreds of thousands of pounds", had appealed on the basis that the juror could have used the phone to find out about his previous convictions, which could have affected the verdict.

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However, Lady Justice Thirlwall told the Court of Appeal in London the matter had been resolved appropriately during the fraud trial in October, although she recommended the presiding judge from the hearing familiarise herself with updated rules regarding jurors' conduct.

Under jury regulations, panel members are expected to lock away phones and other electronic devices to prevent them accessing material which could prejudice or bias the outcome of a trial.

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In certain exceptional circumstances, a judge may order the surrender of these devices in the interests of justice, although no such order was made at Parker's trial.

Thursday's appeal heard that at the start of the court day, jurors had put their phones in lockers in an area known as 'juryland'.

When they were sent out to deliberate, the bailiff had given her 'standard direction' that any smart phones or tablets should be put in the box to be locked away.

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However, during a break in deliberations, the bailiff noticed the juror on the phone and asked why he had not handed it in, to which he replied that it had been "switched off".

On returning to court, the bailiff informed the judge that a juror had been using a phone and a direction was given to write a note to the juror asking if he had discussed anything to do with the case to the person he was calling and to whom the call was made.

The juror replied that the call was to his wife and he had not discussed the case.

READ MORE: Suffolk news

Lady Justice Thirlwall said: "It is quite clear from what we have read in the judgement that there was no impact on the trial from the juror using his telephone and there was no reason to doubt the explanation he gave.

"The jury bailiff acted appropriately, after which matters were brought to a close quickly"

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Parker, who did not appear for the appeal hearing, after he failed to show for his sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on February 7.

He had previously failed to attend court in January, citing poor health and tests for testicular cancer.

His trial had heard he had issued cheques for thousands of pounds that bounced on accounts which only contained a few pennies or which were empty.

Parker, who used to live in Suffolk but now lives at Hazel Grove, Feltham, denied participating in a fraudulent business with intent to defraud creditors by incurring debts of £750,000 but was convicted by a jury after a three-week trial.