A nineteen year-old has been given a six month custodial sentence for using his camera phone to take pictures in court. Shaun Nash, who was at a Bristol Crown Court for the robbery trial of a friend, was taking pictures and videoing proceedings from the public gallery. One of the jurors noticed what he was doing, and the trial was abandoned.
Two of the snaps, and a video clip of the jurors being sworn in were still on Nash's phone when he was arrested. Robert Davies, prosecuting, said that the pictures were like a "my day out at the Crown Court sequence".
In a police interview, Nash said he was "just having a laugh". Defending Nash, Tabatha Macfarlane said he had behaved inappropriately, but did not mean to intimidate anyone. She told the court: "The phone footage on his mobile phone was more akin to a sort of video diary than anything more sinister."
In sentencing Nash to six months in a young offenders institution, Judge Roach said that Nash's actions were very serious: "Because of what you did, the trial had to be aborted. What you did was extremely serious. The public need to know that mobile phones cannot be used in court." ®