Gay Juror Fakes Illness To See West End Musical, Winds Up In Jail

A gay university student in England wanted to see the West End production of Chicago so badly he lied to get out of jury duty to make the show.

Unlike Roxie and Velma, though, for Matthew Banks, 19, crime didn’t pay: After  court officers called his house and his boyfriend said he was in London seeing a show, Banks was arrested for contempt of court and sentenced to 14 days in a young offenders institution.

Initially jailed last Monday, he was released early on Friday and spent Christmas with his family.

Speaking to BBC Radio, Banks said, “It was a very stupid thing to do [but] I genuinely did not believe I would put off the trial… I thought that by calling in sick it would carry on without me.” He said he didn’t expect to actually wind up behind bars for playing hooky. “I thought I would just get a fine.”

We can’t imagine doing jail time just to see Chicago. Book of Mormon, maybe—those tickets are expensive!


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  • Cinesnatch

    No Cell Block Tango reference? This story would have been more interesting if it had been a fake juror with a gay illness.

  • Matt

    LOVE HIM!!!

  • Karl

    this just proves people woth bad hair shouldnt serve on juries…

  • Lance

    Haha, that’s such a cute story.

  • Brandon h

    If he’s still in school just tell them, they excused me every time I was called for jury duty in college.

  • shannon


  • Scott

    Is a conviction grounds for being tossed out of university?

  • GayGOP

    It was right to punish him for this. Jury duty, in an Anglo-American Judicial System, a duty of all people. We rightly punish people who fraudulently avoid the duty.

  • Robert in NYC

    In my state, you can only postpone jury duty once. Stiff fines and sometimes jail time can often be one’s fate if you fail to show up after postponing.

  • RVH

    @GayGOP: You’re the most consistently authoritarian and mean-spirited person to post on this site. Typical RepubliKlan.

  • Dr George

    Surely a gay man seeing a West End musical would be a cultural reason not to be able to attend! I’d write a certificate for that ;)

Comments are closed.