Litigation Recent Decisions 10/09/96

R v Aylott (1996). CA (Pill LJ, Curtis J and Judge Clarke).

Summary: Taking a jury's verdict after they have been discharged.

Appeal against murder conviction where the appellant had been indicted with a co-defendant. After retirement the jury sent a note to the judge stating they were split equally on their verdict in relation to the appellant's co-defendant. The judge misunderstood the note and taking that it meant they were split equally in relation to both defendants, discharged the jury. He then learned that the jury had reached a unanimous verdict in respect of the appellant and were only split as to returning a manslaughter verdict on the appellant's co-defendant. As the jury had not spoken to any member of the public they were brought back into court and their verdict was taken, the appellant being convicted and the co-defendant being acquitted of murder. The appellant argued that after discharging the jury no verdict could be taken from them.