Businessman spent an unproductive week on jury duty after not being called up

 

By Lucy Ross

A Leicester businessman called up for jury service was left frustrated and out of pocket despite never being going into court.

Clive Ross, 55 received his second and compulsory jury letter in January 2015 summoning him to Leicester Magistrates Country Court. Given six weeks notice, Clive had no choice but to accept the invitation after deferring his first due to work commitments.

With the equivalent of minimum wage to contribute to the family funds when on jury duty, he became annoyed as all he could do was sit around waiting to be called up rather than being at work.

Mr Ross said: “You can sit in the jury assembly room all day and not be called or selected.”

After a week of reading books and playing Scrabble in the jury assembly room instead of being at work, he was let go and told that he was no longer needed.

Sworn to secrecy, the jurors were unable to talk about cases that they had been on or are currently on with anyone.

He said: “Time goes very slowly, waiting for the court doors to open and for your name to be called.”

Mr Ross was left relieved when he could go back to work after he was given permission to return back to his day-to-day life at work.

He has argued that people accept that they have no choice but to attend as it is only for two weeks, however, they find the wage inconvenient and feel that the amount paid for jury duty should match what they earn in their jobs, as they have to miss work.

Jury summons is unavoidable unless you have an excusable circumstance. Deferring once is likely, however not to serve at all is very difficult. Non-attendance could lead to a fine or an arrest.

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