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Jury foreman is jailed for internet search about case

A JURY foreman who ignored strict rules about not making internet searches was jailed for four months.

Lionel Tweed not only researched aspects of the murder trial on the web, he also told his fellow jurors about his findings.

The painter and decorator, 54, looked up the information during the trial of Piotr Olejarczyk, who stabbed a man to death. Olejarczyk was found guilty of murder and jailed for life in December at Manchester crown court.

At the sentencing hearing, a juror handed the court a note explaining that Tweed had told them of his internet search showing there was national service in Poland, where Olejarczyk was originally from. Tweed’s computer confirmed he made the searches and had also looked online about jurors going to jail for such research.

Sentencing Tweed, of Swinton, Manchester, at Liverpool crown court yesterday, Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said it was made clear to jurors they must not look for information outside of the courtroom.

While he accepted Tweed, a married man, was ‘very ashamed’, he said the case was so serious a prison term was justified.

Tweed admitted breaches of the Juries Act. Gerard Doran, defending, said: ‘He took his role too seriously and got carried away.’