Jurors in a lengthy Sydney fraud trial were friends on Facebook and one appeared online wearing a photo-shopped wig and gown.
The revelations emerged two months into a multimillion-dollar supermarket fraud trial before Judge Andrew Haesler in the District Court in Sydney last year.
The judge instructed a court officer to interview a juror after a solicitor for the Director of Public Prosecutions reported the trial was "all over Facebook", according to a recently published judgment.
The court officer was given access to the juror's Facebook page and the juror readily admitted being Facebook friends with some of the other jurors.
But the juror denied discussing any evidence from the trial with them.
The court heard the juror also wrote about the length of the trial, their joy at having weekends off and the unusual garb worn by lawyers.
This prompted a friend to post a photo-shopped image of the juror wearing a wig and gown.
Lawyers for one of the accused urged Judge Haesler to interview the jurors involved and have all their Facebook pages examined, but the judge ruled this was not necessary.
He said he was satisfied the juror in question was not trying to hide their interaction with other jurors and the comments made to friends were all "perfectly permissible".
"I am not satisfied ... that there has been anything untoward," he said in his judgment.
He said the jurors had all been "conscientiously following and engaged in the trial" and he was concerned they might feel their integrity was being attacked if they were questioned over their Facebook activity.
This might lead them to act in a prejudicial way towards one or the other side, he said.
The jury eventually found one of the three accused guilty of several charges.
He has other matters remaining before the courts.
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