British juror caught smoking cannabis, fined

london, May 19: A British juror on a rape trial was fined 450 pounds (over $700) after being caught smoking cannabis cigarette during lunch break.

Shezad Hussain, 26, was puffing the drug at a bus stop just yards from the entrance to Bolton Crown Court, Greater Manchester. But he was spotted by a juror on another case and the latter alerted police, Daily Mail reported.

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

He had been one of 12 jurors on a week-long case of a man accused of raping a child.

Hussain at first denied the butt, retrieved from pavement by the other judge, was his until he had a change of heart and apologised when warned that it could be examined for his DNA.

The trial judge then had to adjourn the case while the police investigated and legal discussions took place. Hussain was dismissed from the jury Monday, charged with contempt of court.

On Friday, Hussain appeared before the same judge, this time sitting at Manchester Crown Court, and admitted the single charge of contempt of court.