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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 15:41 GMT
Court photos man gets six months
A man has been given a six-month custodial sentence for taking photos in court with his mobile phone.

Shaun Nash, 19, also used the phone to take video footage while sitting in the public gallery during a robbery trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Nash, of Wilinton Road, Knowle West, pleaded guilty to contempt of court.

Sentencing Nash, Judge Michael Roach said: "What you did was extremely serious. The public need to know that mobile phones cannot be used in court."

The phone footage on his mobile phone was more akin to a sort of video diary than anything more sinister
Tabatha Macfarlane, defending

The court heard how Nash was sitting in the public gallery at the opening of the robbery trial of a friend when he was spotted by a juror.

Judge Roach halted proceedings and police came in and arrested Nash for contempt of court.

In an interview Nash said he was "just having a laugh" and was not trying to do anything illegal.

'Video diary'

Sentencing him to six months in a young offenders' institution, Judge Roach said: "Because of what you did, the trial had to be aborted."

Robert Davies, prosecuting, described the images as a "my day out at the Crown Court sequence" with snaps and video of the inside and outside of the court building and court room, the judge, the defendant and jurors being sworn in.

Tabatha Macfarlane, defending, said Nash did not mean to disrupt proceedings or upset witnesses or intimidate anybody involved.

She said Nash had been in court with friends who were acting inappropriately like the TV comedy characters Kevin and Perry.

"The phone footage on his mobile phone was more akin to a sort of video diary than anything more sinister," she told the court.

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