A judge has banned video links at hearings after pornography was played in court.
The judge has firmly clamped down on the use of video as during a remote proceeding, participants could hear pornography sounds being played.
Jeremy Richardson QC, the most senior judge in Yorkshire, was working when this incident happened.
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He was undertaking a plea and trial preparation hearing at Sheffield Crown Court. But had to adjourn the meeting after heard the inappropriate sound, reports Yorkshire Live.
"Obvious" pornographic" sounds were heard being played during the proceedings. The judge had been handling a case in which 13 defendants are charged with smuggling drugs and a mobile phone into a prison.
Some of the defendants in the case, who include one prison officer, appeared in court for the proceedings. But the others appeared remotely via Common Video Platform (CVP). And it was during that hearing that porn sounds were played.
A barrister, who did not want to be named told The Times that porn noises were "definitely" heard during the hearing.
He added that the sounds were "loud and obvious" and the judge desperately tried to get the person responsible to mute their microphone without success.
When that did not work, the judge abruptly ended proceedings and ruled that future proceedings would not be held via CVP, including other cases not related to the one he was handling, insisting that barristers must now attend hearings in person.
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Although several people attended, the barrister who blew the lid on the case says the pool of those responsible for the porn was narrowed down after the judge muted the defendants attending the hearing via the CVP link from prison. This "narrowed it down to one of the advocates.”
And the naughty party is said to have come clean, claiming he had been hacked and said it had become so easy for hackers. CVP's use became widespread and popular during the Covid19 pandemic.
The latest guidance, issued by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, gives judges the discretion to choose whether to hold hearings in person or through CVP.
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