Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(92) Jury Service

On the afternoon of February 5th 1993 I was talking with Tim Vaughan-Hughes and Russell Eley. Eley remarked that he would love to do jury service.
Then on the morning of February 9th 1993 Eley brought in a letter that he had received the previous day notifying him that he had indeed, for the first time in his life, been called up for jury service several months hence at Southwark Crown Court.

The following morning he asked if I had seen an episode the TV comedy series Citizen Smith the previous night.
I had not.
He said that the central character had been called up for jury service, and that he was to discover that the accused was someone known to him.

Later that afternoon Vaughan-Hughes revealed that that morning his wife had received a letter notifying her of her selection for jury service, also several months hence.

My thoughts upon this cluster were that maybe it threw light upon the need for each individual to assess evidence for themselves.
Some remarks Eley had made about coincidences in the preceeding weeks had led me to reveal to him my interest in the subject. Now here was he himself becoming involved in a cluster of them himself and having, in his role as “Joe Public”, to decide whether or not there was anything more to it all.

The Citizen Smith incident seems most significant in that regard.

And in 2000, William Hartston, my first recipient and critic of my clusters of coincidence from early 1988 (see The Narrative, ) would be called up for his first stint of jury service, also at Southwark Crown Court.

It would be at Southwark Crown Court, in 2003, that The Millionaire Three would be found guilty.

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