Senior execs beware: Judge considers jail for jury duty dodge

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An Australian senior executive is facing the prospect of spending time in jail for skipping jury duty.
 
A judge in Victoria has warned Powerwrap chief financial officer Sean Slattery he may be jailed for up to three months for not showing up for jury duty last year, an AAP report reveals.
 
Justice John Forrest said people can’t decide to be jurors “when it suits them” while hearing Slattery’s case brought by the Juries Commissioner for a jury duty dodge in October last year.
 
“There is a real prospect that I am considering imprisonment,” Justice Forrest said. Slattery may be jailed or fined more than $4,000.
 
Slattery is said to have skipped jury duty last year to work on his firm’s public listing. He does not dispute he did not show up for jury duty but said work had prevented him from fulfilling his duty.
 
“I'm a chief financial officer of a company that is about to conduct an initial public offer,” he said in court, the AAP reports.
 
Slattery explained that he had an appointment to meet potential investors the same day he was scheduled to appear in court, stressing he was happy to fulfil his jury service which he said he does not take lightly.
 
Slattery also explained that he was not asking to be excused but was rather asking for a deferral.
 
The Juries Commissioner said, however, that Slattery was given a deferral in May last year which led to his request being rejected last October.
 
“A fundamental requirement of a democratic society is that members of the public participate in jury service,” the judge said.
 
The court will hear submissions about penalties next week, reports the AAP. Slattery is advised to seek legal counsel as he was representing himself in court.

 
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