Man jailed for taking brother’s picture in North East court

A man who took a “light-hearted” picture of his brother in a court dock has been jailed for six months.

Liam Thompson was awaiting the start of his trial on Monday when his brother Kane took pictures on his phone from a public gallery and shared it on social media, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Taking pictures in court is illegal, with a judge saying it was “potentially destructive and intimidating conduct”.

Kane Thompson, 24, admitted two contempt of court offences.

Thompson, of no fixed abode but previously of Bentinck Street in Newcastle, was in the public gallery in courtroom 10 when he took three pictures of his brother, also capturing two 18-year-old co-defendants and a dock security guard.

He then shared an image in stories on Facebook and Instagram with a caption saying his brother was in court and a sunglasses emoji.

Mairi Clancy, in mitigation, said the focus of the post was Thompson’s brother and there was no “malicious” intent.

She said they were “light-hearted” pictures, adding: “What he did was nothing more sinister than immature foolishness.”

Ms Clancy said he was very sorry and deleted the pictures as “soon as he realised the severity of what he had done”.

She said he had had a “rude awakening” having spent a night in custody after being arrested at court on Tuesday.

Judge Edward Bindloss said taking pictures in court was “potentially destructive and intimidating conduct”, adding Thompson had been “highly reckless” about impacting the trial.

The judge said the defendants could have been intimated and there could have been a “risk of reprisals” for the dock guard.