Gay sauna encounter delayed Damilola trial
An encounter at a gay sauna between a juror and a witness caused the first Damilola murder trial to be delayed.
The second trial ended today as brothers Danny and Ricky Preddie were convicted of the manslaughter of Damilola Taylor in November 2000. They had been acquitted of murder at the previous trial in April.
The sauna revelation came to light as a witness was cross-examined by Nigel Sweeney QC. defending one the teenage brothers at the Old Bailey. The witness stormed out of court when the encounter was raised, but returned to answer further questions.
The 21-year-old witness was asked why he had recorded the juror on his mobile phone while at the sauna.
He replied: “He had offered me drugs, he had tried to have sex with me, he was a member of the jury, he was talking about the case and I needed to prove he was a member of the jury and he was doing wrong.”
The juror in the first trial was discharged after the judge heard from each man separately in closed hearings.
The witness, whose anonymity is protected by a court order, tried to call journalist from the Sun and a police detective to tell them of the meeting.
He also admitted he had signed a contract with the newspaper for £1,250 after giving evidence in the first trial. He made a statement to police about the juror’s behaviour the day after the chance meeting.
The witness had previously testified that Ricky Preddie admitted to him that he murdered Damilola. The 21-year-old also denied that he was motivated by money in his dealings with The Sun, claiming his boyfriend is worth £6m.