A TEENAGER who took a “selfie” while sitting in the court dock and then posted it on Twitter has been fined.
Joel Norris, 18, took a picture of him and his four co-defendants and put it on Twitter with the caption “Lads in the court box lol.”
He was reprimanded by presiding magistrate Kathleen McNally, who said: “I go out to talk to schools about the long-term effects of appearing in court and it's not anything to laugh out loud about, I can assure you.”
Prosecutor Heather Jackson said Norris, of Rowan Close, Sandford, Wareham, had been in Bournemouth Magistrates Court on April 4 this year when he took the photo.
“While sitting in the dock and during proceedings he appears to have taken a photograph of himself using a mobile phone,” she said.
“That photograph was posted on his Twitter account on April 8 with the caption 'Lads in the court box lol.'
“He was contacted by police and interviewed on May 28 and accepted he had taken the photograph. He said he had not turned his mobile phone off and when he swiped his phone to open it, it was on camera mode so he took a photograph of himself.
“He didn't appreciate at the time he was doing anything wrong; he thought it was a funny picture.”
Richard Middleton, mitigating, told Bournemouth Magistrates Court: “It was a very foolish act done with little thought at the time.”
He said Norris had shown genuine remorse and written a letter of apology and added: “In this age of 'selfies' he didn't fully appreciate the impact this has on the victims of criminal proceedings who might view it on social media.”
Norris pleaded guilty to taking a photograph in a criminal court of a party to proceedings and guilty to publishing that photograph. He was fined £145 for each offence, £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £29.