No right to jury trial in England

Another basic civil right discarded by the defunct Blair-Brown government: the right to trial by jury. For the first time in 400 years, four men have been convicted of a crime without a jury trial:

Four men were jailed for between 15 years and life after being found guilty today of carrying out a £1.75m robbery in the first English criminal trial to be heard without a jury in 400 years. . .

Blake was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 10 years and nine months, Twomey got 20 years and six months; Hibberd 17 years and six months; and Cameron, 15 years. . .

The four were tried, convicted and sentenced by Mr Justice Treacy after the previous three armed robbery trials collapsed, the last two amid allegations that the jurors had been “compromised” or tampered with. . .

The “hallowed principle” of trial by jury was set aside by the court of appeal in June last year, in the first case using powers under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, but campaigners called the decision a dangerous precedent.

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