On May14th, 34-year-old Jessica Patel was found dead in her home of Middlesbrough, England. Her husband, 37-year-old Mitesh Patel is accused of her murder. Patel and his wife were pharmacists who ran a business together according to GazetteLive. Patel denies murdering his wife, but it is known that he had cheated on her numerous times with men who he had met on the gay hookup app Grindr.
In order to get a fair trial, High Court judge Mr. Justice James Goss QC was careful to inform potential jurors that anyone who was familiar with Grindr would not be allowed to serve as a juror.
He shared with jurors at the Teesside Crown Court:
It is agreed that during the course of the marriage, the defendant Mitesh Patel had been unfaithful to his wife, including having met men for sexual intercourse.
Some of them he met using a social networking site called Grindr.
In a moment the names of witnesses and others to whom reference may be made during the trial will be read out to you.
If you know any of them and believe that that knowledge of them is sufficient to compromise your objectivity as you consider the evidence, you should indicate that in a note that you write to me.
It is agreed between the prosecution and defence and approved by me that in order to seek to ensure your objectivity as potential jurors in this case, if you have frequented the Roman Road pharmacy in Linthorpe over the last seven years, or you have used the Grindr app at any time over the same period, that’s in the last seven years, you should be excused from sitting in this case.
If you entertain any doubt about any names you’ve heard, put that in a note as well.
There’s no rush. This is important. So think about it all.
The trial began on November 13th with a jury of six men and six women and two additional women as ‘surplus jurors’.
The trial will continue with opening arguments by Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC and is expected to go until December 7th. It is likely that Mitesh Patel will plead not guilty.
This story is developing as the trial continues.