SEVEN protesters in Buckinghamshire braved a freezing winter morning to defend the historic right of juries to find people not guilty based on “conscience".

The protesters held signs outside Aylesbury Crown Court on a cold and wet Monday in defence of the historic principal.

Hundreds of people across the country have joined them, outside courts in Manchester, Preston, Liverpool and elsewhere nationwide.

The protests were prompted after recent concerns about measures the courts were taking to restrict the roles of juries in making their decisions.

Alan Thawley, who helped organise the protest, said: "I think trial by jury is a fundamental cornerstone of our justice system and am very concerned about potential political interference in this, as well as attempts to keep jurors in the dark as to their right to decide according to their conscience."

It comes after a 68-year-old retired social worker Trudi Warner was prosecuted for contempt of court after she held a similar sign outside Inner London Crown Court in March.

In October two women were arrested by the Metropolitan Police for similar actions.

Protesters now say that future actions by Defend Our Juries campaigners will depend on the reactions their efforts on Monday prompt.

A Defend Our Juries spokesperson said: “Juries are a common sense check on the law.

“They ensure that judges, law makers and governments cannot abuse their power and use British courtrooms to do their dirty work for them. 

"The right of juries to acquit a defendant according to their conscience has been enshrined in British law for centuries, and we must protect it.”

They added: “Let our juries hear the whole truth and let them reach a fair and true verdict without judicial interference!”