In the Media

Joanna Yeates murder jurors warned off social network sites

PUBLISHED October 5, 2011

Judge instructs would-be jury members not to discuss case online or do background research ahead of Vincent Tabak trial Potential jurors in the trial of Vincent Tabak, the man accused of murdering Joanna Yeates, have been told to avoid discussions about the case on social network sites. The 12 jurors who will hear the case against Tabak are due to be sworn in on Thursday. Before sending them home for the night on Wednesday, the trial judge, Mr Justice Field, told the possible jurors he had "stern instructions" for them. He told them: "It is most important you don't read or take any notice of any publications concerning this case." The judge said that meant they should not look at reports of the current proceedings at Bristol crown court or reports from when Yeates went missing. "Do not look at anything on social network sites or other social websites," he added. Earlier the judge said Tabak, who denies murder, had to be tried only on the evidence that was put before the court. "If other information starts to leak in that pollutes the system of justice," he said. On Tuesday he also impressed on the jurors that they should not do any background research of their own about the murder. Twelve jurors (out of a possible 17) are due to be sworn in on Thursday morning. The judge told them they would be "next required" after that on Monday. Tabak, a 33-year-old Dutch engineer, is accused of murdering landscape architect Yeates, 25, just before Christmas last year. Wearing spectacles, a dark suit, blue tie, shirt and sneakers, Tabak watched proceedings from the dock. Before being selected, the potential jurors had answered a series of questions to ensure they were not connected with people or businesses involved in the case. They were told that they would have to be available for the next four weeks. Yeates went missing after pre-Christmas drinks with friends near Bristol city centre. After a high-profile search, her frozen body was found on a country lane on Christmas morning three miles from her home in Clifton, Bristol. Tabak is being represented by William Clegg QC. Nigel Lickley QC prosecutes. The trial continues. Joanna Yeates Bristol Crime Steven Morris © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds