A MURDER trial was disrupted before any evidence was heard after two jurors had to be discharged, including one for a Covid related reason.

Adam Carpenter, Faisal Fiaz and Mohammed Hussain all deny murder and conspiracy to commit robbery following the death of 22-year-old Colton Bryan in Redditch, in July last year.

Judge James Burbidge QC, the Recorder of Worcester who is overseeing the case, had on Monday told the jury to ‘stay well’ as Covid-19 infections continue to rise.

But addressing them on Wednesday at Worcester Crown Court he explained one of the jury had found out she had been in a workplace last week where there had been a Covid case.

The judge said the juror was showing no symptoms, but said she would not be returning to the court and had been discharged. He added a further juror was also being discharged due to being recognised by one of the accused.

Judge Burbridge then released the jury and gave them 15 minutes to decide if they would be comfortable to continue serving on the jury, given a juror had been dismissed for Covid reasons.

“I hope you do, I will leave the decision to you,” he added.

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A short while later the 10 remaining jurors returned, having all agreed to continue serving. Two new jurors were then selected at random, and the entire jury was sworn in.

Jurors and legal representatives wear masks in the courtroom, and jurors are protected by perspex screens and by strict limits on the capacity within the courtroom.

To help reduce the capacity of the number of people in court at any one time junior counsel are linking in remotely online to the court room one case, from another court.

The three men are alleged to have committed the murder in Guinness Close, Redditch on July 15 last year. The new jury heard the trial is expected to last between four and five weeks.

No evidence was heard, with jury members told that would begin today when the prosecution open the case.

Judge Burbidge gave the usual warnings they must not discuss the case outside of court, but said they could say to anyone who asked that it was a murder trial, and “to leave it at that”.

Judge Burbridge added that members of the jury were now classed as keyworkers, which meant travelling to and from the court was essential travel during the lockdown.

He said: “If there are any problems with that, if you are stopped by police, refer them to me.”