Jahmel Blakeney *File photo
Jahmel Blakeney *File photo

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23: The foreman in an attempted murder trial was discharged after it was revealed he might be related to one of the defendants.

The juror, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was brought before the judge in the absence of the rest of the jury on Monday.

He was the foreman in the trial of Jahmel Blakeney and Sanchey Grant. The juror told Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves he was a distant relative of Blakeney’s half brother, Glenn Blakeney Jr.

However, he said he didn’t know if he was related to Mr Blakeney Sr.

He also said he knew Mr Blakeney Jr from Bailey’s Club where he was the president in the 1990s.

Mr Blakeney Jr played cricket for the club.

The juror also said he worked on special projects for the Ministry of Works and Engineering and met Glenn Blakeney Snr through his work.

But he said he didn’t associate with him.

No choice

Mr Greaves said: “I have considered what you said and discussed it and I think having taken all the information together, I have no choice but to discharge you from the jury.

“I am not going to say to you that I think you were biased or favourable to either side.

‘The law is that one doesn’t have to be biased, it just has to appear that one may be or could be biased in these situations.

“For these reasons, I’m going to have to discharge you.”

Mr Greaves then told the press the matter couldn’t be reported until the trial had finished.

Jerome Lynch, QC, lawyer for Grant argued the matter shouldn’t be reported.

But Mr Greaves said: “I am not in agreement with you.

“I think the public has a right to know how their system works.

“Has a right to know the dangers that the system faces.”

He continued: “They have a right to know how to prepare.

“This is good for the system.

“My instruction is no reporting on the process until after the verdicts, one way or another whether it’s guilty, not guilty or hung.”