Nineteen Year-Old UK Juror Jailed for Playing Sick to Go to the Theatre


Let’s be honest — very few people actually enjoy jury duty.  Most of us try to come up with any excuse we can to prevent having to potentially spend weeks of lives on a case. 

But according to a story in The Guardian, nineteen year-old Matthew Banks took playing hookey from jury duty to a new level — and it was all because he went to the theatre.

Banks had been serving four days on a trial but proceedings had to be halted when he claimed to be too ill to attend.  But he was only acting sick — turns out Banks had plans to see Chicago at the Garrick Theatre.  But his ruse was found out when court officials called his home and Banks’ boyfriend, Christian Orr, told them he had gone to the theatre.  Whoops!

The judge on the case ordered him to “serve two weeks in a young offenders institution,” calling Banks’ behavior “frivolous.”  Banks’ mother argues that her son is only “a naïve 19-year-old,” and that the penalty is too harsh, adding “He wanted a career in the government but he’s got a criminal record now.”  In a follow-up article, the unintentional stool pigeon Orr explains that while he understands the penalty he believes Banks is ultimately too immature to be a juror anyway, explaining, “I don’t feel he has the life experience or maturity to be a juror,” and agrees that the sentence is too severe. 

Listen, we all dislike jury duty, but there’s a lesson in all this — make sure you get your story straight with your loved ones before you play hookey in order to get some entertainment!


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