Jury service: What you expected and what it's actually like

YOU’VE watched enough courtroom dramas to know your stuff. Or have you? Here’s the expectation of jury service verses the reality:

The Summons

You’ve been waiting for this moment since your 18th birthday. Like a Hogwarts letter for adults, it’s time to do your duty as a citizen, and as someone who watches Judge Judy every time they skive off work.

But when your summons finally arrives, it’s a f**king inconvenient week. You’ll have to arrange childcare, and you have tickets to see Shrek The Musical. You’re only allowed to reschedule if you have a newborn baby or an operation booked, neither of which you can arrange within the 12-week period, so you make a vague claim about being really busy at work.


The court didn’t accept your deferral, so now it’s time to prepare. Whack on Better Call Saul and you’ll be up to date with the latest developments in law and order in no time.

No. They’ve sent you a lengthy training video which warns about all the reasons a juror themselves might get sent to prison. Like talking about the trial, or the goings-on in the deliberation room. You start to panic that you’ll accidentally spill all the juicy jury gossip while pissed and end up on trial yourself.

The Waiting Room

When you enter the main waiting area, you imagine it will be full of busy barristers and hardbitten cops, like courts are on TV crime dramas. Perhaps a murderer will stage a daring escape? That would be exciting.

There are no barristers or police detectives in the waiting room. Just fifty of your fellow potential jurors who look as resentful to be there as you feel.

The Trial

You’ve been assigned a trial. Time to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. Just like that time you did a fancy dress murder-mystery party and knew it was the butler!

Your case isn’t like the murder-mystery party. Either it’s a bit boring — like fraud — or it’s harrowing, and you’re forced to look at graphic images of the type you wouldn’t even see on Silent Witness. Get ready for two weeks of drudgery, or a lifetime of therapy.

The Deliberation

Your time to shine. Will you save an innocent man from jail, or will you rule with an iron fist and ensure the swift and remorseless delivery of justice?

Because you aren’t allowed to discuss it, nobody will ever know. Even if you were the coolest juror in the room. Even if you got really shirty and nearly had a fight with the annoying juror next to you. Just like Vegas, what happens here stays here.

The Verdict

You’ve planned this years ago. You’ll put yourself forward as the foreman. You’ll stand before the court, proud and eloquent, and confidently announce a verdict of…

It’s not you doing it. That annoying juror next to you wormed his way into the foreman position, and he doesn’t have an ounce of your pizazz. ‘Not guilty’ he mumbles. The defendant can’t even hear him, so their lawyer has to give a subtle thumbs up. Your jury service ends in as deflating a fashion as it began.

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Bloke reckons he's hiding obvious crush on female friend really well

A MAN with a huge crush on one of his mates erroneously believes that he is doing a good job of hiding it.

Joseph Turner has been pining for pal Francesca Johnson for a number of years, but thinks he has his feelings well under control despite going bright red every time he sees her.

Turner said: “I used to have a tiny, minuscule crush on Fran, but she’s never noticed.

“Yes, it was a bit devastating when she went on loads of dates and never gave me a second glance, but I didn’t let it affect our friendship. And that’s the most important thing to me, anyway. Certainly not the idea of marrying her and having children with her and being with her forever.”

Francesca Johnson said: “I’m well aware that Joe fancies me, as is anyone who has ever seen him stutter out his words when he speaking to me. It’s a huge joke within our friendship group.

“At a party recently, I told him I was moving in with my partner and he went all silent and excused himself. He said he’d mysteriously come down with a cold, but that doesn’t usually leave you weeping copiously in the toilet.”

Turner added: “I’m really happy for her. That’s why I punched a hole in the bathroom wall.”