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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Amorous juror did not bias trial
Two conmen have failed to convince a court that their convictions were unsafe after an juror bombarded the prosecuting QC with romantic proposals.

George Steen, 56, of Victoria Road, Darlington and Dennis Alexander, 49, of Elvin Court, Brighton, said the woman's judgement could have been affected.

Both men were convicted of conspiracy to defraud in June last year.

London's Appeal Court dismissed the men's claims and upheld their convictions on Wednesday.

What does a lady need to do to attract your attention: Attend court? Make constant eye contact? Be patient? Wait until the case is finished, or let a man know that she is interested?
Anonymous female juror

The pair were prosecuted over a multi-million pound fraud in which businessmen were offered bogus loans, with impossibly rigorous conditions attached.

Steen was jailed for six years and Alexander received a two-year sentence at Southwark Crown Court in 2003.

Their appeal focused on claims that they were deprived of a fair trial as the woman juror may have let her "personal partiality for prosecuting council" Richard Latham QC affect her judgement.

The juror, who cannot be named, sent champagne and an amorous note to Mr Latham, who promptly returned them.

Sincere apologies

The QC also received an email with a legal-style document headed "Summons to attend."

Lord Justice Rose, sitting with Judge Sir Edwin Jowitt and Mr Justice Treacy, said the "summons" required Mr Latham to attend for a future dinner date.

He said it also referred to a "case outline with the following question: What does a lady need to do to attract your attention: Attend court? Make constant eye contact? Be patient? Wait until the case is finished, or let a man know that she is interested?"

The woman later sent a further email offering her "sincere apologies", the court heard.

Lord Justice Rose said there was "ample evidence" against both men and said there was no reason to believe the woman was biased in the prosecution's favour.




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