A female juror has been jettisoned from a murder trial after she was allegedly found to be listening to an MP3 player whilst key witnesses gave evidence in court.

Rehula Khanom, 20, was apparently not at all interested in the court proceedings. She now faces a prison sentence after she was found to be in contempt of court.

Khanom was reportedly exposed by a fellow juror after she was seen to have headphone wires around her neck. The player was apparently hidden underneath her Muslim headscarf. Other people in the court also reported hearing the distinctive tinny sound of loud music coming from earphones.

Legal experts have described the woman's behaviour as "astonishing and unique".

"There was a complaint made by a fellow juror during the course of the luncheon adjournment," said Judge Roger Chapple.

"The juror had seen wires disappearing into the juror in question's headscarf and heard her music emanating from that juror while we were in court and everyone else was listening with close attention to important evidence of the defendant.

iPod idiocy?

"A member of the defence team had also noticed the wires. I said during the course of submissions I thought I heard the sound of music from headphones fleetingly."

A court official said: "In all the years I have served here, I have never known anything like it. The juror was clearly laughing at the court and our system of justice."

Khanom has been released on bail and will return to court as a defendant on 23 July. She could receive an indefinite prison sentence and an unlimited fine.