A JUROR who allegedly conducted his own research into a defendant on trial over the kidnap of a Hampshire businessman will appear at crown court.

Alan Frankcom is alleged to have researched the financial records of gym boss Daniel Harkins while sitting on a jury in his trial for kidnap.

The trial collapsed in December last year and the jury was discharged.

Harkins and his “gang” of five were later jailed for a total of 43 years for the kidnap of businessman Richard Baker after entering guilty pleas midway through a fresh trial.

Frankcom, of Lymington Road, Lymington, was subsequently charged with carrying out research during a trial period – an offence under the Juries Act.

The 51-year-old appeared at Southampton Magistrates Court, where he was told he would be sent to Southampton Crown Court.

He will face a hearing on February 12.

As previously reported in the Echo, Daniel Harkins, 38, of Sherborne Road, Eastleigh; Jamie Kingston, 41, of Paynes Road, Shirley; Leroy King, 36, of Dutton Lane, Eastleigh; Rodney Traves, 48, of Croydon Close, Southampton; Peter Chamberlain, 50, of Chaucer Road, Southampton and Alan Boddy, 47, of Goldingham Drive, Essex, all admitted kidnapping Richard Baker as well as conspiracy to falsely imprison.

Winchester Crown Court heard how they took Mr Baker from his premises in West End as they were on a mission to find two people they believed were connected to an arson at Samson’s Gym – owned by Harkins.

They went after Mr Baker, as they believed he had the telephone number of a man connected to the arson.

The court heard that as well as being punched, a screwdriver was put up his nose.

Judge Henry sentenced Harkins to nine years for his role as the “ringleader”, “right-hand man” Kingston was given eight years, while King and Chamberlain received seven years.

Boddy and Traves were sentenced to six years.