The Supreme Court has dismissed a convicted sex offender's appeal that his right to a fair trial was compromised by his jury foreman being a retired police officer.

The complainant, referred to as Mr T, was convicted of 31 offences committed against his stepdaughters.

He submitted to the Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court that the foreperson's career could have affected the jury's independence or impartiality in the case, or given the appearance of having done so.

This undermined "the fundamental right to a fair trial and therefore public confidence in the justice system", he said.


Yet the foreperson told the Judge she was a former police officer and knew the officer in charge, though only professionally, when her name was drawn in the selection process.

The two officers rarely saw each other despite working at the same police station, as the juror was a former uniformed officer and the officer in charge was in the Criminal Investigation Branch.

The juror said her former profession or association with the officer in charge would not affect the way she would assess the evidence when asked by the Judge.

The ex-cop, who retired around three years before the case, was then allowed to remain on the jury and later elected foreperson.

Mr T's trial counsel later recognised the jury foreperson and consulted with him about this and he agreed that she should remain a juror, signing a note saying so.

The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against his conviction, noting that jurors are only disqualified if they are a serving police officer.

It was satisfied that the juror "had no past or present connection with the case of the officer in charge, and that she had given the judge and assurance she was capable of performing her obligations."

The Supreme Court supported the Court of Appeal's decision and said that there was no indication in Mr T's appeal that the previous court had erred in its judgment.