After a ten week trial that has run, more or less, to schedule, the jury empanelled in mid-October, 2022 for the high profile trial of Eleanor Williams will be sent out to deliberate upon their verdicts today, Tuesday 3rd January, 2023.
Better known as Ellie Williams, aged 22 and from Walney, Barrow-in-Furness, she faces eight charges of perverting the course of justice. The court has heard that they relate to allegations, made by Miss Williams, of her being repeatedly sexually abused and trafficked over a number of years.
The jury heard closing speeches from prosecuting and defence counsel – and a summing up of the trial from the Honorary Recorder of Preston, HHJ Robert Altham in the week before the Christmas break.
The judge is expected to give final directions on the law; remind the jury that the burden of proving guilt falls on the prosecution, Miss Williams doesn’t have to prove her innocence; they are the sole arbiter of the facts; and the standard prompt to make their decisions based only on the evidence heard in the courtroom during the trial before asking them to retire under the supervision of the jury bailiffs.
The jury’s verdict and, in the event of a guilty finding on any of the charges brought against Ellie Williams, the judge’s sentencing remarks and a summary of the evidence heard throughout the trial, subject to any restrictions imposed by the court, will be reported here on Neil Wilby Media.
If Miss Williams is cleared it is expected that her family and supporters will hold a press conference soon after the verdict is returned.
UPDATE: After deliberating for less than three hours the jury unanimously found Eleanor Williams guilty of all eight counts of perverting the course of justice (read report here).
Page last updated Tuesday 3rd January, 2023 at 1735hrs
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