A juror in a murder trial in Court One of the Old Bailey has been discharged after coming down with a suspected case of Covid-19.
The trial of Aaron McKenzie was entering its second week when one of the jurors became sick.
On Monday, Judge Mark Lucraft QC told the remaining 11 jurors: “I’m sorry you have had a slight delay as you know one of your number over the weekend has developed some symptoms which seem to be Covid.”
He discharged the absent juror, wished him well and said the corner where he had been sitting would be cleaned.
The trial then continued with the defendant going into the witness box to give evidence in his defence.
McKenzie is accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend and killing their baby last June.
The 26-year-old crane operator allegedly broke into Kelly Fauvrelle’s bedroom in the dead of night and stabbed her 21 times, causing catastrophic injuries.
Baby Riley was delivered by Caesarean section at the scene in Thornton Heath, south London, but died in hospital four days later.
The prosecution allege that McKenzie was “desperately jealous” that Ms Fauvrelle was seeing someone new and had “moved on”.
Giving evidence, McKenzie said he had not been happy when they split up, but he denied killing her.
Asked who do, the defendant, who has Asperger’s syndrome, told jurors: “Mike killed her.”
He said Ms Fauvrelle owed money to the man, who he named only as Mike, over a tobacco deal.
McKenzie, from Peckham, south-east London, denies the murder of 26-year-old Royal Mail worker Ms Fauvrelle, the manslaughter of baby Riley, and possessing a knife.
The Old Bailey in central London was among the first criminal courts to reopen for trials following the lockdown.
Courtrooms have been regularly cleaned and rearranged to seat jurors at two-metre intervals, in line with social distancing measures.