First-ever trial without jury to go ahead

By staff

A criminal trial without a jury will take place for the first time ever in England and Wales after an appeal court judge authorised it.

The decision follows concerns of alleged jury “tampering”.

Lord chief justice, Lord Judge, made legal history by allowing a trial to go ahead with only a judge.

The Liberal Democrats said the move repesented a dark day in British legal history.

“Trial by jury has been a cornerstone of British justice for hundreds of years. It is a dark day indeed when we forsake it because we no longer feel we can protect juries,” said Lib Dem justice spokesman David Howarth.

“We must not let thugs and robbers bully us into relinquishing one of the greatest protections of our freedom.”

The case concerns four men accused of armed robbery at Heathrow airport five years ago and constitutes the fourth trial concerning the alleged crime.