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JUROR GETS PRISON IN AFFAIR WITH DEFENDANT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) -- A Canadian juror who contended that her courtroom affair with the defendant in a murder trial was simply a mistake of the heart was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for obstructing justice.

In a strongly worded statement, British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Raymond Paris described former juror Gillian Guess as "narcissistic and self-absorbed" and termed her crime an attack "on the integrity of the judicial system."

Ms. Guess, 43, admitted having an affair with defendant Peter Gill, 33, while she was serving on the jury during his 1995 murder trial. Gill and five co-defendants were acquitted on the murder charge.

Ms. Guess said she did not break the law because she did not try to influence other jurors to acquit Gill.

Her attorney said she would appeal the verdict.

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