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Jurors aged over 70 sent home from court due to coronavirus fears

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:30 16 March 2020

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Members of the public over the age of 70 haven’t been selected for jury panels at Ipswich Crown Court today (Monday, March 16) because of concerns they might be urged to self-isolate in the near future to protect themselves from coronavirus.

Two new trials started at the court on Monday.

In one court, a woman over 70 was stood down and, in the other court, two men were sent home because they are over 70.

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Judge Rupert Overbury told potential jurors that because people over 70 might be asked to self-isolate in the near future, anyone over that age would be excused from the panel.

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He also told jurors that anyone with a persistent cough or fever was under an obligation to isolate themselves.

He reassured jurors that the court was being kept “scrupulously clean” and said hand sanitisers had been provided in public places.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

In addition to standing down potential jurors over 70 in another court, Judge David Pugh asked if any members of the panel had a health-related problem that caused them so much concern they couldn’t fully concentrate on the evidence but no-one indicated any concerns.

Meanwhile in another court, the jury in the trial of six defendants accused of beating and torturing a man at his home in Bramford Lane, Ipswich, was sent home for the day because a barrister in the trial was unwell.

MORE: Coronavirus cases in UK increase by 171

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