Kebab shop robbery trial collapses after Muslim witness takes oath on the Bible, not the Koran Man accused of attempted robbery will now have trial restarted

Judge rules trial at Liverpool Crown Court could not proceed after blunder
Christians swear on the Bible in court, while Muslims swear on the Koran


A trial collapsed when a Muslim swore an oath on the Bible instead of the Koran.

Michael Davies was accused of attempted robbery until it emerged a witness had taken the oath on the wrong book.

The judge, Recorder Patrick Thompson, said the trial at Liverpool Crown Court could not proceed, adding: ‘It is probably best if a fresh jury who doesn’t think we’re all totally incompetent hears this case.’

Davies, 38, had denied trying to rob a kebab shop in Birkenhead while armed with a hammer last summer.

But during the hearing it emerged the takeaway’s manager Kevin Kurt had sworn an oath on the wrong holy book.
Asked if he had ever bought stolen goods from Davies, he said it would be ‘against my religion’.

John Weate, defending, asked him: ‘Are you a Christian?’ He replied: ‘No, I’m a Muslim.’

Mr Kurt was not given the option of using a different holy book. Mr Recorder Thompson said it was not the takeaway boss’s fault.

Followers of other faiths are given copies of their sacred texts, with Muslims swearing on the Koran and Jews on the Old Testament, for example.
Atheists are allowed to ‘solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm’ instead of swearing.
Discharging the jury, Mr Recorder Thompson said: ‘The difficulty that arose and I will be very straight about this, is you have heard evidence from the witness on oath, just like you all swore an oath.
‘Unfortunately it was sworn on the Bible and he just informed us he is a Muslim, which means I can’t accept his evidence and neither can you, because it was sworn on the wrong holy book.
‘We have to start the case again.’
Mr Recorder Thompson said if the trial restarted, it would not be expected to finish this week.
He added: ‘It is regrettable. It could have been worse. If he had concluded his evidence, we might never have found out.’

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