A NEWSPAPER photographer could jail for taking pictures of jury members outside Oxford Crown Court.

Lucy Ford, of Smith Street, Warwick, was working for the Banbury Guardian when she is alleged to have fallen foul of contempt of court laws which ban photographing jurors.

The court heard she took pictures containing two jury members on Tuesday, January 28, and asked them to identify a photo of a defendant on trial for child sex abuse offences.

Judge Ian Pringle said he had been told the 34-year-old quickly realised her mistake, telling the jurors “sorry, I’m not supposed to talk to you”.

She then apologised to a member of the court’s security staff.

But yesterday Judge Pringle said he was taking the matter seriously because it could have led to the case being abandoned.

He said: “If it is right that she took a photograph of jurors leaving this court, that in itself can intimidate those individuals.

“It is only by good fortune that both of them were happy to continue. The trial could have been abandoned.”

Kate Wilson, defending, said: “She is potentially facing a custodial sentence. These jurors walked into her picture – it was in no way an attempt to intimidate a juror.”

The case was adjourned until Thursday, February 7.