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Trial abandoned after CCTV blunder.

A COSTLY trial had to be abandoned after a Tyneside jury was mistakenly shown the wrong CCTV footage.

The panel at Newcastle Crown Court had already retired to consider their verdicts as the hearing moved into its fourth day.

They sent a note from the privacy of their room asking to view again the recording they had already seen of violence in Roxanne's nightclub, in South Shields.

But the wrong disk was this time slipped inside the player.

Unedited images from all four of the nightspot's cameras began playing across the courtroom's giant screens.

And by the time jurors themselves realised the error it was too late to save the trial.

The trial - estimated to have cost at least PS50,000 - involved charges of assault by beating and assault causing bodily harm.

Craig Alder, 39, of Redberry Way, South Shields, pleaded not guilty to both allegations.

Prosecutors now have a week to decide whether to seek a retrial. The defendant was granted bail.

Judge David Wood apportioned no blame for the blunder. He told the jury: "It is a pity because you have paid close attention to the case over a number of days now. But it is impossible to put right what has gone wrong."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2012
Words:206
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