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Posted by: cricketjerry-mouse
Date: 16/01/2018 11:06
Nine of the 12 posts on this site since Mike TA1`s at 15.27 yesterday are so prejudicial to a fair trial for Ben Stokes that the defence would be quite entitled to approach the bench before the trial opens and say it is impossible for Stokes to get a fair trial.

Only the posts of chuckyinargyll (15.55 yesterday), Mike TAI (17.47 yesterday) and Somerset LaLaLa (7.44 today) do not fall into this category, and one even opens the option for the prosecution to also say their case would not get a fair hearing.

The option for the judge in cases like this used to be to switch the hearing away from Bristol to the other end of the country, were a jury was unlikely to have read any of the comments. But the universal aspect of the internet now makes this much more difficult.

What posters should also remember is that the judge has the power to call before him anyone who has made a prejudicial remark public (for example in a newspaper, tv or online) before the case starts, ask him or her for an explanation and if he feels so inclined punish the offender.

In more years than I care to remember covering court cases, I have seen this sanction taken against editors and others - one famous case being a newspaper headline `Joe Bloggs in Court Again`, immediately letting the world know that Joe Bloggs had previous convictions.

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