Leeds teenager jailed for filming his brother in court

editorial image

A TEENAGER who took mobile phone footage from a Crown court public gallery of his twin brother during a murder case has been locked up.

Karl Lewis, 18, was sent to custody for four months after a judge told him that a “firm line” had to be taken over his conduct.

Lewis was arrested outside Leeds Crown Court on May this 20 year after a dock officer spotted the teenager making a recording of his brother from the public area of the court.

His phone was seized by police officers who found three recordings of his brother as he was in the dock of the court.

Lewis, of St Martins Grove, Leeds, told the officers that he did not know he was not allowed to film in the court and immediately offered to delete them.

He pleaded guilty to recording court proceedings without permission.

Lousie Pryke, prosecuting, said the court needed to consider the seriousness of the trial and the potential disruption that could be caused if jurors felt they could be photographed or filmed.

Imran Khan, mitigating, said Lewis took the footage “more out of habit” and did not realise that he was breaking the law.

He said: “He immediately apologised and did not know that he committed an offence. He offered to delete them immediately.”

Mr Khan added: “He was looking at his brother. It was the last time he would be seeing him because he was being remanded in custody for a serious offence. He is very sorry.”

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, sentenced Lewis to four months in a young offenders institution.

The judge said: “It was a serious offence and serious proceedings and the whole hearing was a high profile one.

“There are very clear notices throughout the building about taking photographs and not using phones.”

“You must have had some awareness of what you were doing because you were keeping a camera concealed but popping up every so often to take a picture.

“I accept that you were motivated by the desire to simply have some photographs of your brother and it was naivety on your part but people have to understand that there will be a prison sentence.”