A YOUNG Wirral mum who failed to attend court while on jury service has been fined and warned she faces jail if she does not pay.
"There is a very real obligation of any citizen to receives a summons for jury service to attend," said Judge David Harris, QC.
"It is becoming increasingly common for people to play fast and loose with that obligation and there is a need for the importance to be re-inforced and for fines to be imposed when no good reason is shown," he said.
Chelsea Halford, the mother of a two-year-old child, was due to attend Liverpool Crown Court for the second week of a rape trial but on the Monday when speeches and summing up took place she did not attend.
She claimed that she had been suffering from a tummy bug and produced a self-certification certificate but admitted that on that Monday she had gone to the housing department in Birkenhead as she was about to be evicted from her flat.
She also claimed she did not have her mobile phone with her and when told by her mother that the court had rung she rang them back and left a message.
Further questioned by Judge Harris she denied that she had told other jurors the previous Friday that she would not be there on the Monday because she was going "on a bender" on the Sunday.
The judge said that he did not accept her explanation.
He told her the maximum fine was £1,000 and he would have imposed a substantial fine if her means were greater but as she was on £120 a week benefits he would fine her just £100.
He told her to pay it at £5 a week and warned her that if she misses even one payment she will go to jail for seven days. WIRRAL GLOBE