Two Sunderland men charged with juror intimidation after incident outside Alan Smart and David Roberts trial

Teesside Crown Court, where the trial is taking place
Teesside Crown Court, where the trial is taking place

The trial of Alan Smart and David Roberts had to be stopped after two jurors were allegedly driven at outside Teesside Crown Court.

Two men who had earlier been in the court’s public gallery have been charged with intimidation.

Judge Deborah Sherwin halted the first trial and discharged the jury. A second trial was held with a new jury.

The judge ordered no details of what happened to the first jury be disclosed to the second jury.

Details can now be reported after the second jury returned its verdicts, completing their involvement in the case.

Owen Patrick Smart, 61, of Foxlair Close, Hall Farm, and Ryan Griffin, 28, of Lilburne Close, East End, both Sunderland, were charged with intimidation on January 26.

They are alleged to have driven behind two female jurors as they walked on the paved area outside the court.

Smart and Griffin pleaded not guilty during a short preliminary hearing earlier this week.

No trial date was set because the case may have to be tried at a different court due to some of the witnesses working at Teesside Crown Court.

Judge Peter Armstrong remanded both in custody.