Diana's Butler's Trial Abruptly Halted
Reuters reports that the judge in the trial discharged the members of the jury after two and a half days of evidence, and that the specific reason for their release cannot be reported. A new jury is expected to be summoned on Thursday.
Burrell, 44 (whom Diana referred to as her "rock" and who served until her death in 1997), pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of stealing hundreds of her personal items, ranging from family photos to small gifts and samples from her legendary wardrobe.
These were possessions that "someone should not keep and should not have," prosecuting barrister William Boyce QC told London's Old Bailey. Boyce said the items belonged not only to Diana, but also to her former husband, Prince Charles, and to their sons.
"I ask you to consider the potential value of even one CD autographed by Diana, Princess of Wales," Boyce said, adding that police found in Burrell's possession "CD after CD after CD, all signed 'Diana.'"
Boyce accused Burrell of helping himself to two signed family albums with a large number of photographs of intimate family gatherings. "These are family snaps clearly never for public consumption," said the lawyer.
At an earlier hearing in August, Burrell denied three charges of theft from Diana, Charles and Prince William. His lawyer, Andrew Shaw, has insisted that many of the items of clothing in question belonged to Burrell's wife. Shaw also accused police of staging what he called "a trophy trial."