The perjury trial of a senior police officer on the Gold Coast has come to an abrupt end after a member of the jury was found to have acted inappropriately during deliberations.
Superintendent Michelle Stenner was on trial in the District Court in Brisbane facing three counts of perjury, which she has denied.
The prosecution had alleged Superintendent Stenner had given false testimony to a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) hearing in 2017, in relation to her involvement in the recruitment of her then-chief superintendent’s daughter.
It was alleged covert recordings between Superintendent Stenner and other officers — which were played during the trial — had captured conversations that she later denied having during the CCC hearing.
Yesterday, the 12-person jury retired to consider its verdict, but it was revealed today one member of the panel had used his phone to look up “extraneous sources”.
Juror should have ‘a sense of shame and a heavy heart’
Judge David Reid said the juror had “deliberately gone and disobeyed” the clear directions given to not make external enquiries outside of court.
“I told you at the beginning of the trial of the serious consequences of such things,” he said.
“It’s unfair to the other 11 members of the jury, it’s unfair to the defendant … to all of the people involved in the case.”
Judge Reid said the juror involved should leave court with “a sense of shame and a heavy heart”.
“I think you need to have a good hard look at yourself and how you go about carrying out your civic duties,” he said.
“The palpable anger that I feel is not directed to any of the other 11 [jurors] and in fact you’re [other jurors] to be congratulated.”
The jury was discharged and the matter was listed to return to court for a mention next week.