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Juror derails perjury trial after being caught using phone for research

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A jury member who sensationally derailed the perjury trial of a Queensland police officer should “leave court with a sense of shame” after he repeatedly used his phone to research matters to do with the trial during deliberations, an angry judge has declared.

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Michelle Stenner, 47, was charged in 2017 following an investigation into the appointment of Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Terry Borland’s daughter Amy to a temporary administrative role at Broadbeach Police Station.

Judge David Reid was scathing of the behaviour of the single jury member in the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday, stating there was a risk other directions weren’t followed and the use of “extraneous sources” might be wider than what was known.

“I cant believe, given how clear I made these directions, that someone has quite deliberately gone and disobeyed them,” he said.

“I think you need to have a good hard look at yourself and how you go about carrying out your civic duties.”

The juror’s fellow members alerted the judge to his behaviour on Tuesday morning, prompting the jury to be discharged from the trial.

Judge Reid’s “palpable anger” was not directed toward the other 11 jury members, who should be congratulated on raising their concerns, he said.

“But the one juror, and I have no idea who it is, who disobeyed this direction should leave this court with a sense of shame and with a heavy heart,” he said.

Jury deliberations began on Tuesday morning before the discharge a day later.

Stenner pleaded not guilty to three counts of perjury in the Brisbane District Court over allegations she lied to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

She was released on bail and the matter is next listed for mention on June 18.

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