Juror too drunk for duty let off court charge

Nicola Glen. Picture: Lesley Donald
Nicola Glen. Picture: Lesley Donald
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A JUROR who was too drunk to do her duty at the High Court trial of a teenage sex offender has escaped being found in contempt of court.

Nicola Glen, 35, stunned staff at Scotland’s supreme court when she phoned last Thursday morning to say she was too drunk to do her job.

She had spent the last nine days sitting on a jury considering evidence in a prosecution against 18-year-old Grant 
Farquhar.

Farquhar, of Edinburgh, was convicted on Friday of sexually assaulting three teenage girls aged between 13 to 15.

But Miss Glen – who had spent nine days with 14 other men and women listening to evidence in the case – was unable to hear the closing speeches in the proceedings against the accused. She had told staff in a phone call which was made shortly before 10am that she had been out drinking to 4am with work colleagues and was too drunk to attend court.

Her actions could have potentially jeopardised the prosecution against Mr Farquhar and judge Michael O’Grady QC ordered Miss Glen to appear in court on Friday. On Tuesday, he decided not to proceed against Miss Glen, of Edinburgh, on a charge of contempt. He came to the decision after hearing how Miss Glen had recently split from a long-term partner.

Judge O’Grady also said that he decided not to find Glen in contempt because she had been honest about being drunk and had given the court an “unreserved apology”.

He added: “I am persuaded to proceed no further. Your only saving grace is that you have been utterly honest.”

The story emerged following a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning. It could not be reported until now for legal reasons.

Miss Glen had spent nine days hearing evidence against Farquhar. The court had heard how Farquhar subjected the youngsters to a series of sexual attacks between May and December 2012.

A jury took four hours to find Farquhar guilty of charges of sexual assault, having sex with underage girls and sending sexually explicit and offensive communications.

Farquhar, a prisoner of the Young Offenders Institute in Polmont, Stirlingshire, had entered pleas of not guilty. Temporary judge Michael O’Grady QC deferred sentence on Farquhar for reports about his character.