“The Court of Appeal decided to exclude the jury because of the cost of providing adequate protection," said the Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary.
Commenting on the start of the first Crown Court trial without jury for more than 350 years, David Howarth said:
“The Labour Government has failed to defend jury trial and has been too keen on looking for ways to undermine it.
“The Court of Appeal decided to exclude the jury because of the cost of providing adequate protection. The danger of that approach is that it gives the police an incentive to exaggerate both the risk and the cost of dealing with it.
“The obvious question to ask is why action has not been taken against those suspected of tampering with the jury. Surely the best way to protect a jury is to arrest those who are threatening it?”