A teenager walked free from court when his trial for manslaughter was halted after an over-zealous juror turned sleuth.
Dale Patterson, 18, was accused of causing the death of a 72-year-old taxi driver following a violent scuffle over a fare last September.
But while 11 members of the jury patiently sat through five days of evidence, another was secretly carrying out his own investigation.



Dale Patterson (l) stands accused of the manslaughter of Raymond Quigley (r). His trial collapsed after a juror admitted conducting his own investigations


The juror visited the crime scene, took photos, measured a fence critical to the case and researched his own theories on the internet. He even explored forensic techniques online before finally discussing his findings with other jury members in their private canteen.
It was only after the judge was handed maps and three sheets containing 37 questions about the case that his investigation was revealed.
The questions contained information neither the prosecution or the defence had put before the jury at Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court. Jurors are warned not to do any research during the trial and to listen only to the evidence presented by the prosecution and defence to preserve the defendant's right to a fair hearing.
Judge David Hodson stopped the manslaughter trial after hearing about the private investigation

Judge David Hodson asked the jury if the list came from all of them or just one. The man in question, aged in his fifties, raised his hand and said: 'Just from me.'
He said he had been gathering his own evidence to get a 'feel for the case' and wanted to ensure he and his fellow jurors reached the right verdict.
The judge immediately stopped the trial and discharged the entire jury.
And in a further blow to the family of taxi driver Raymond Quigley, he decided against a retrial and allowed the defendant to walk free from court.
Last night Mr Quigley's widow Dorothy, 69, said: 'We've been robbed of justice by the stupidity of one man who has effectively brought this case to its knees.
'Dale Patterson has walked free from court to pick up from where he left off while we must return to continue living our life sentence. It's so unjust.
'The juror said he was trying to get a feel for the case, but on several occasions the judge warned him and his fellow jurors to try it on the evidence alone.
'Instead, he went to the scene, he went onto the internet and then asked the judge 37 questions which he had jotted down on paper.'
She added: 'We're in despair. There's nothing we can do. We are going to have to put it behind us, however dreadfully hard that will be and it will.'
Mrs Quigley, a retired nurse, said she and her husband were days from celebrating their golden wedding anniversary when he died on September 2.
Patterson, who had been to a skateboarding event, flagged him down outside Newcastle railway station at 3am after missing his last train home to Sunderland.
Witnesses later saw the two men struggling against railings after an argument broke out over the fare.
Mr Quigley held Patterson in a headlock to try to keep him at the scene so the police could be called, but had a heart attack as Patterson struggled free. Mr Quigley was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2002 but his family insist he was 'active' and had never been to see a GP about it since.
Witnesses said that as he lay unconscious on the ground Patterson, who only had 10 on him to pay for the fare, kicked him in the head before shouting: 'He deserved it. I hope he dies.'





Patterson, then a 17-year-old student at Newcastle College, told police Mr Quigley had taken an unusual route and he feared something untoward may have been about to happen to him.
He denied manslaughter and making off without paying. But on Monday, as the prosecution neared the end of its case, his trial was brought to a sudden end after details of the juror's own investigations emerged.
Asked by the judge if he had been to the scene of Mr Quigley's death, the juror replied: 'Yes, on the first day of the trial. I was trying to get a feel for the case.'
Asked if he had discussed his findings with fellow jurors, he said: 'Oh yes, we have been discussing it in the canteen.'
It was then that Judge Hodson discharged the jury.
On Tuesday he recorded not guilty verdicts on both charges after describing the case, which cost taxpayers 70,000, as 'fatally flawed'.

Manslaughter trial collapses after 'sleuth' juror carries out his own investigation into the case | Mail Online