The jury in the trial of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay and aides Nathan Gray, 29, and Marion Little, 63, have been told the court will accept a majority verdict.
The direction comes as the jurors are in their seventh day of deliberations.
The trial of Mr Mackinlay 52, at Southwark Crown Court opened on October 15 with the jury retiring to consider their verdict on December 5.
The three are accused of overspending in the MP’s successful bid to beat the then Ukip leader Nigel Farage to the seat of South Thanet in the 2015 General E;ection and then submitting false expenditure declarations..
Mr Mackinlay, an accountant, was elected to Parliament on May 7, 2015 with a majority of around 2,800.
He was re-elected to the seat in last year’s snap election with 25, 262 votes, ahead of Labour’s Raushan Ara, who polled 18,875 votes.
Declared spending on the 2015 campaign came in under the strict £52,000 limit. But jurors at the trial were told his victory could have been made void if up to £66,000 of undeclared spending on staffing, accommodation and advertising was included on returns.
Mr Mackinlay denies two counts of knowingly making a false declaration on an election expenses return.
Mr Gray denies one count of knowingly using a false instrument and Ms Little denies three counts of “intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence.”
The jury are expected to sit again until lunchtime tomorrow (December 13) and if no decision is reached at that point they will break until January.
Seven days of deliberations!!!!! Miking it or what.
Years ago I sat on a jury, when we were making our deliberations one of the members said. “Oh I will go with whatever you think, my hearing-aid has not been working so I missed most of it”
Well, we all know what the outcome will be as he is a politician and up the backsides of those in power. That doesn’t make him innocent but with all those colleagues involved he will get special treatment. He is an accountant after all so should have no reason not to know what they were doing with expenses. I didn’t think that could be used as an excuse in law though so in that case he should be found guilty. Now lets see !
I am disgusted by Ann’s comment. 1) Whatever went on in her jury room should NEVER be disclosed; the whole point of jury deliberations is that they are supposed – by law- to be private and secret. 2) I do hope that no-one would ever treat their civic responsibility – to society at large and to their fellow citizen(s) in the dock – so frivolously. If Ann’s comment is true, I can only hope that if s/he (the person with the defective hearing aid) is ever in the dock – or the victim of a serious crime- that all jurors are fully attentive during the trial. 3) It is for the jurors to decide – in accordance with what they have heard of the evidence and the Judge’s Directions to the jury – to decide whether Mr Mackinlay and Ms Little are innocent or guilty. That is an onerous responsibility. If they are innocent they must go free; if they are guilty I hope they are severely punished for subverting our democracy but that is for the Judge. Only the jury can decide on guilt or innocence and therefore the jurors should take every minute they need to arrive at the appropriate verdict.