Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Woman Jailed for Trying to Influence Rape Trial Juror

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Woman Jailed for Trying to Influence Rape Trial Juror

Article excerpt

A WOMAN has been jailed for jury tampering in a rape case.

Alison Gayle, 48, from North Ormesby, whose nephew was on trial at Teesside Crown Court, phoned a member of the jury during the case last October.

She told the woman that her nephew Wayne Elwick was innocent and that the rape complainant was "after money".

Gayle had the juror's mobile number because the woman had worked at the beauty salon she co-owned in 2013.

The woman reported the approach to the jury bailiff the next day and the trial was aborted and she was excused jury service for a week.

Elwick was later convicted and jailed for six years.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told Teesside Crown Court the juror said in a victim impact statement that she was left shaken and intimidated by the phone call from Gayle. She said she was first approached by Gayle's daughter Danielle as she waited outside the courthouse near the Register office for a lift home at 2.30pm on October 13.

Danielle said "Hiya" and asked her what she was doing at court, and she replied "Jury service".

She was in a car later and her phone rang, and a woman's voice said "It's Alison".

Gayle said that she knew that the woman was a juror in the rape trial of her nephew.

Mr Hadfield added that Gayle said: "He's innocent, he's innocent, he would not do anything like that ever.

"She said that the complainant was after money. The juror said that she should not be talking about it.

"Gayle told her to go into court the next day and pretend not to know her.

"But the next day she reported the call to the jury officer. …

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