Four found guilty of jury tampering in Warwick drugs trial

Leslie Allen was jailed for 13 years at Warwick Crown Court in 2018.

A fresh trial at the Old Bailey heard how the 66-year-old had recruited a juror and witnesses in a failed bid to secure a not guilty verdict.

Allen, Damien Drackley, Mark Walker and Laurence Hayden were convicted of perverting the course of justice on Thursday.

The Old Bailey heard Drackley had been promised £5,000, via middleman Walker, to influence fellow jurors back in 2018.

During the latest trial, the 37-year-old from Nuneaton admitted speaking to his mother Lorraine Frisby about the case on a daily basis. The court also heard incriminating communications between the two was recorded on Drackley’s mobile phone via an app.

The Old Bailey heard that jurors at Warwick Crown Court had been left puzzled when witness Hayden, nicknamed Del Boy, had visibly nodded and winked at Drackley as he came to give evidence. His behaviour was reported to the judge who went on to convict Allen without a jury, jailing the 66-year-old from Coventry for 13 years.

At the 2018 trial it was revealed Allen was caught on his own CCTV system carrying the laundry bags full of drugs, however as the jury deliberated Drackley argued aggressively to acquit him.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, fellow juror Dominyk Maggs told the court: “He basically said that it was all made up, it was a complete load of rubbish, the prosecution, none of it made sense, none of the facts made sense so [Allen] was not guilty.”

Drackley, who had put himself forward to be foreman but was rejected, had also revealed he knew the area where Allen lived, causing jurors to alert the judge. The 37-year-old was immediately removed from the jury and his mobile phone was seized, revealing the conversations with his mother.

Allen, currently in prison, declined to attend the Old Bailey for the trial, while Hayden has fled to Spain and not returned, the court heard. A sixth alleged conspirator Daniel Porter, also from Birmingham, died before the trial.

Drackley along with Walker known as the “one-legged mechanic”, were granted bail and will be sentenced in January, alongside Frisby.

A rare occurrence, I would have thought, and, in this case, one that was so incompetent as to be immediately suspicious.

What are the potential implications for the alleged perpetrator of the tampering?

Jurors who accept a bribe might also find themselves guilty of criminal offence or in contempt of court. In 2018, in the first case of its kind in Scotland, Catherine Leahy became the first juror to be prosecuted in relation to accepting a bribe. Leahy was a juror in a drug trafficking and money laundering trial and she was alleged to have received almost £3,000 in four instalments for agreeing to not properly carry out her role as a juror in the case. The police investigation against Leahy used covert audio surveillance to record her conversations with a family member at her home. She was convicted under the Bribery Act 2010 and was imprisoned for 6 years.

could have been straight out of Only Fools And Horses , A nod and a wink gave the game away .