Front page of The Irish Times, March 30, 2018

Broadsheet commenter Shayna, who was questioned by the PSNI following comments she made on the site, will not faces charges of contempt.

Shayna, who has contributed to Broadsheet since 2010, was the foreperson at the Belfast Rape Trial.

She was contacted by the office of The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland who told her the Irish Times had alerted their staff to comments following the trial.

Believing correctly they were innocuous and did not breach jury guidelines, Shayna contacted the paper.

The story made the front page of the following morning’s Irish Times (above) stating without evidence:

‘In the posts the juror addressed the reasons the jury came to its decision.’

The article contained quotes from a deeply distressed Shayna awaiting the police in her kitchen at her home in Belfast.

She was further taunted and had her quotes ridiculed on twitter by staff members of the Irish Times.

In an article that appears in today’s Irish Times, in a small section on the bottom of page 4, The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland is reported as saying:

‘The attorney general has decided not to institute proceedings for contempt against the juror.”

Juror who posted comments about rugby rape trial avoids prosecution (Amanda Ferguson, irish Times)

Belfast rape trial juror’s online comments are referred to AG (Conor Gallagher and Amanda Ferguson, Irish Times, March 30, 2018)

Previously: ‘I Am Liable For Arrest’

38 thoughts on “Contemptible

  1. Ollie Cromwell

    ” She was further taunted and her quotes ridiculed on twitter by staff members of the Irish Times. ”

    Why am I not surprised.It’s a dreadful newspaper.

      1. Dub Spot

        Agreed. Who did the taunting and how? Names and links please. Never help us if it was a sister.

        Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

        1. Bodger

          We took no screenshots. No sisters though as far as we can recall. David Cochrane, inevitably, was the most egregiously offensive and took great pleasure in sharing Shayna’s quoted distress. His tweets on the matter have since been deleted. Conor Gallagher, then court correspondent, appeared to be on some sort of crusade and demanded an apology…from us: This is the same Mr Gallagher who would a few months later in print imply that Broadsheet linked to the video of Dara Quigley before she took her own life.

  2. Ronan

    In fairness, today’s Irish Times story includes this important paragraph:

    “At the time the juror said they had not commented on anything related to the deliberations, and therefore were not in breach of the judge’s order that jurors must not discuss them.”

      1. Brother Barnabas

        more than just stated – reported her for it

        stirring sh 1t to create a story for themselves

        hard to believe it wasn’t due to her connection to BS

  3. Slightly Bemused

    I am glad to hear this. Best wishes to Shayna for a rapid return of peace of mind.

    BTW @Bodger: both links got to the same article for me (specifically the second article). Not sure if just me or an error.

  4. Broadbag

    Shocking stuff from the Irish Times. Any link to the ridiculing and taunting on twitter, I presume someone screen grabbed the comments?

    1. Cú Chulainn

      Total toe rag of a ‘news’ paper. Still cannot fathom how the flutes walked free. Must be a great relief to Shayna.. but of little use to the victim.

  5. Eoin

    Last Sunday, one of the main articles on the homepage of the Irish Times website was a letter of an intimate nature, some lad’s girlfriend wanted vaginal sex on her period and the boyf was like “let me write a letter about that”. The article itself was “subscriber only”, so, you couldn’t even deduct it from whatever free allowances of articles they give you, and all the unsubscriber punters got was a stock photo and the subheadline.

    To call the Irish Times desperate these days is an understatement.

    I’m not at all surprised at the tone of their reaction to what was an amazing scoop for, the head juror in the most high profile criminal trial in a decade was providing an insight, not to the oldest swinger in town on Tara Street but to the young Turks at Broadsheet towers.

  6. Lilly

    They are fighting for their survival and they’re fighting dirty. It really was breaking news that night when Shayna came in here and gave us the lowdown. Green eyes in Tara Street.

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      Talking of circulation the Irish Sun/Sun on Sunday is the only newspaper to see its print circulation growing both up by 1%.

  7. Hansel

    I never heard about this at the time. Really bad form from the Irish Times.

    To the Irish Times journalist: you’re not Hunter S. Thompson, that was not gonzo journalism.
    Instead you are effectively the neighbour who ratted me out for having a house party when my parents were away – nobody appreciated it, it was cringey and it was transparent to everyone that there was no big deal and you were just stirring for your own benefit.

    For the record, the party was ace and I regret nothing.

    1. realPolithicks

      “For the record, the party was ace and I regret nothing.”

      Gretel tells a different story…

  8. rotide

    Glad she avoided prosecution, although I doubt it’s worth the states time to prosecute such an offense.

    I still think it was highly inadvisible to make the comments she did and I can’t understand why anyone finds it surprising there was a hoo-haa over it.

    1. Bodger


      When this broke, you wrote to Shayna here saying: “I thought your comments complied completely with the guidelines online and what you stated the judges instructions were.”

      But now you say it was “highly inadvisable to make the comments’ and you can’t understand why anyone would be suprised by the ‘hoo ha’.

      As the hoo ha involved needlessly traumatising a vulnerable woman merely to humiliate us, yes, it did surprise us and others.

      Meanwhile, a rape trial collapsed this week. The accused may not stand trial again as a result. I see no ‘hoo-ha’ in the mainstream press (in fact no commentary at all) or those responsibe – ‘bona fide’ journalists – being pursued in the manner Shayna was.

      1. rotide

        I know exactly what I said and I still think the same. What she wrote didn’t break any of the guidelines, however writing as a member of the jury in the most high profile case on this island on an internet forum is just plain dumb.

        It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an inadvisable thing to do. I could say to any number of people tommorrow that they were absolutely right to be upset that their bets on Tyson Fury were nullified by terrible judging, it doesn’t mean that betting on boxing is a stupid thing to do.

        You also seem to be conflating two different types of ‘hoo-ha’, but that’s for another time I guess.

    2. bisted

      …always wondered what that was dripping off your avatar, Lowtide…it’s condescension, isn’t it…hell hath no fury like the 5th estate upstaged…

    3. Hansel

      FWIW I was in a high profile court case earlier this year and due to the traumatic nature of it, it really hurt not to be able to talk about it and justify our decision.

      So I can totally understand why Shayna wrote what she did: she did her civic duty and represented her community, was the voice of her society, and she felt answerable to that society. Particularly as there was a lot of public discussion about the correctness of her decisions.

      A lot of people shirk jury duty for all sorts of spurious reasons. You get nothing for attending and it can be a horrible ordeal. Shayna deserves our thanks. not some sham gutter journalist trying to get her in trouble.

      So, thanks Shayna. Sure you made a mistake, but the human who never made a mistake was never a human at all.

  9. SOQ

    Congratulations Shayna, good to see common sense prevail. As for those who reported your participation in this site, you really need to take a good hard look at yourselves.

  10. anne

    Bona fida shower of snitchy little sillies. Weren’t so fast to stand up to the Prune & sunny though..
    Tis only the vulnerable they go after. Pathetic cowards.

  11. Shayna

    Hey, ta for the support. I would have thought I would have heard from my solicitor first, the news. Instead an email from BS, re: The Irish Times. I’ve been away all Summer, hibernating this Autumn. It’s not been one of the better years for me, simply because of the trial. Sure, I could have said nothing following the verdict. It’s human nature, simply – 9 and bit weeks of keeping shtumm about something as important as this. I really was surprised to get a call from The Lord Chief Justice’s office pertaining to responsive comments from myself on BS.
    The Irish Times seem to have a scoop there on my lawyer, which in itself is interesting. I won’t know about confirmation until Monday when I can contact their offices. I’ve had no phone calls, no emails, letters since I got home this week.
    Again, ta to all the commenters.

    1. anne

      Quick someone call the Irish Times!
      Just messin’

      Interesting about the solicitor. Have you paid him yet?

      Strange bunch up the north though. Prime Time was interesting the other night. They’re going after your man who made the documentary about the Lochinisland Massacre saying he received stolen papers, but no complaint has been received about any stoten papers..

      ” The police ombudsman has stated that no complaint has been made to his office of a theft of confidential documentation, thus removing the central plank of this vindictive investigation.
      “The decision to extend bail until 1st March is a continued threat to the liberty of two investigative journalists.”–1498404/

      Very strange shenanigans going on up there indeed.

      Would Drew Harris been around when all that collusion was going on? He’ll fit in grand I suppose with our shower…

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