Thieves raid jury room during trial at Irish courthouse
An investigation was launched after personal items were taken from the jury room as jurors heard evidence in a dangerous driving case.
Mobile phones, handbags and wallets were stolen as a trial was taking place in Wexford Circuit Court last Thursday morning. Twelve jurors were asked to retire to allow for legal argument and went upstairs in the courthouse to the jury room.
But they discovered some personal belongings, including wallets, handbags, cash and credit cards had been stolen.
The thieves entered the jury room sometime between 11am and midday.
Access to the room was restricted by a keypad.
A search of the surrounding areas by gardai uncovered some empty purses.
The trial continued after a brief adjournment.
"It is a most unusual occurrence," an Irish Courts Service spokesman said.
"We've initiated procedures to put in extra precautions.
"The comfort and security of jurors has been essential to court service plans for modernising courthouses in the last number of years.
"And we intend to incorporate state-of-the-art juror facilities when the new Wexford town courthouse is developed in the near future.
"We hope to go to the market for expressions of interest by the end of this year," he added.
Gardai confirmed that investigations were continuing into the robbery.
"Gardai at Wexford town are investigating a burglary which occurred at Wexford courthouse.
"A number of personal items were stolen from a room in the court," a spokesman said.