A RAPE victim had to relive her court ordeal twice after a juror halted her case when he branded the defendant a “Mackem rapist”.
The man – believed to be a Newcastle United fan – told his fellow jurors he could not give David Blake a fair trial, just 24 hours after Sunderland’s 3-0 derby win.
The juror confessed his concerns and it led to Judge Penny Moreland halting the trial, dismissing the juror and swearing in a new jury. The woman victim then faced an anxious wait for her video evidence to be played all over again.
Jurors are given a clear warning by judges at the start of every case that they must try defendants on the evidence they hear in court and nothing else.
Blake’s trial was halted after just half a day - costing taxpayers an estimated £5,000. The juror was told not to come back to court to complete his two weeks service.
As a result of the false start Blake’s victim had to watch her video evidence, which is the account of her ordeal she gave to detectives, twice and faced a nervous wait before she was cross examined about what happened to her.
Blake, of North Farm Avenue, Sunderland, was eventually found guilty of raping the woman - who had fallen asleep in a spare bed, alone, after a party at a flat.
Prosecutor James Adkin told the court the 44-year-old attacker took advantage of his victim’s drunk and sleeping state.
Mr Adkin said: “She woke up at about 8am and to her horror she realised the defendant was having sex with her.
“She immediately told him to get off.”
When his horrified victim contacted the police minutes after the attack, Blake told officers: “I started to kiss her, had sex with her, then she woke up.”
He later denied confessing and claimed he had said “she was awake”.
Jurors rejected Blake’s claim the woman had performed a sex act on him while he was sleeping, which led to them having consensual sex when he woke up.
Blake will be sentenced next month and was remanded in custody in the meantime.
Judge Moreland warned him: “I require a report from the probation service to assist with what risk you pose to others.”
The judge added: “The sentence is inevitable. He shall be remanded in custody.”