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Last Updated: Monday, 17 April 2006, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Jury service call-up for girl, 4
A four-year-old girl, who has only just learned to write her name, has been called up for jury service.

Beatrice Ball from Bristol was sent a letter summoning her to sit on a jury at Bristol Crown Court for a trial starting on 5 June.

Her shocked parents have told officials she will not be there.

The government department responsible for sending out jury summonses, and Bristol City Council have blamed each other for the mix-up.

Electoral roll

"I like to think Beatrice is bright for her age, but this is ridiculous - she has only just mastered how to count up to 20," said her mother Sam Ball.

"She found it hilarious, of course. She knows what jury service is because her grandad was recently sent a summons and he has explained to her what he had to do."

Mrs Ball, 33, said she believed her daughter had been added to the electoral roll after she accidentally added her name to the register of people aged over 18 living at the address.

Realising her mistake, she informed the council, which amended the details and sent an updated version - minus Beatrice's name - to the Court Service in December.

But four months later, the youngster received her surprise call-up.

The Court Service claims it was using the most up-to-date list, while the city council insists Beatrice is not on it.


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