A JUROR fell ill in the San Fernando High Court on Monday when he suffered a stroke while waiting in the jury room for a criminal trial to continue.
The incident happened in the Third Assize court on Monday during the trial of Marlon Noreiga Bain for possession of arms and ammunition. The trial is taking place before Justice Maria Wilson.
At about 12.45 pm, the jury of five women and four men had retired to the jury room. When the trial had resumed and the judge requested that the jurors be brought back into the courtroom, the marshal went to usher them in. All but juror number six stood up and began walking towards the door. The female marshal noticed that that male juror had slumped sideways in his chair.
This morning she recounted for the judge in open court what she witnessed, saying, “I was waiting on No 6 juror to get up from his chair. I clapped my hands to get his attention. I saw him lean on the left. I ran and told Jennifer to call the EHS. Jennifer is the JSO (judicial support officer).”
She said she accompanied the juror to the San Fernando general hospital, where doctors said he had suffered a massive stroke.
The judge has replaced him with an alternate and the trial continued yesterday,
In that jury room, as in a few of the courtrooms, the air conditioning unit has malfunctioned and this has been so for the past few days. Fans are being used, but Monday was unusually hot. One fan circulated air in the jury and court rooms which are almost airtight.
This morning, Wilson asked the marshal to take a fan from her courtroom and put it in the jury room.
The malfunctioning air conditioning system has been an off-and-on problem and Newsday was told that the problem exists in the Hall of Justice as well.
Scarce office resources both in the San Fernando High Court and the Hall of Justice have seen judges having to buy bottled water. Of the three daily newspapers, staff purchase only one, on instructions from the court administration in the Hall of Justice.
Toilet paper is being rationed and for the past week, there has been no pipe-borne water to the court building in San Fernando.
Staff, including judges, are no longer afforded coffee.
Newsday was told that a senior administrative officer commented to staff that she had to use coffee from supplies allocated to Chief Justice Ivor Archie’s office.