The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto
The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS

Joanna Fralli and Jamie Sewart, the juror and defendant held responsible for the collapse of a multi-million-pound drug trial, have today been found guilty of contempt of court.

During the trial ex-juror Fralli admitted that she had been in contact with the defendant Sewart via Facebook before all of the accused at the trial had been sentenced.

Sewart, who had been acquitted by the time the two were in contact, denied the contempt of court charge.

Having been found guilty the two could face up to two years in prison.

Fraill was reported as having had a "most unhappy adolescence, a troubled adult life" and "domestic misfortune on a very considerable scale" by a psychiatric report used in the trial.

During the proceedings Fraill cited her feelings of empathy towards Sewart and her plight as her reason for initially emailing the defendant.

The conversations that followed saw Sewart openly ask Fraill about the jury's state of mind regarding other defendants cases.

The solicitor general, Edward Garnier QC, acting on behalf of the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, described Fraill and Sewart's actions as being in "plain contempt of court".

Fraill, who is a mother of three, was reported as being distraught during the trial, openly sobbing and rocking back and forth as the details of the allegations were read.

Peter Wright QC, defended Fraill's actions arguing that they were not born of a "cavalier disregard" for the judicial process. Wright highlighted that since the correspondence she had become "depressed, isolated and in utter despair" thus showing a genuine remorse for her actions.

The two are set to be sentenced later this year.