A murder trial has collapsed after a female juror complained that the man sitting next to her in the court smelled.

A letter to the Old Bailey judge complained she could not concentrate.

The trial into the death of 20-year-old Jamie Sanderson, who was stabbed in Oceana nightclub, was two days into a six week trial when Judge Wendy Joseph discharged the jury.

She said: “There is a problem. There is nothing that the poor man can do about it. I am not prepared to force him to sit in another part of the court room.

“Even if I were to find jurors to sit by him, it would not necessarily resolve the problem. At the end of the day they have all got to sit in the jury room together.

“We are two days and one hour into evidence and the prospect of many weeks ahead of us.

“These defendants are entitled to a trial by 12 jurors. Nobody really wants to go on with 11 jurors from a defence point of view.”

The juror in question was spoken to by the court matron about his cleanliness.

While the jury were out of the court room, lawyers were told he had no health issues, regularly showered and washed his clothes.

The judge considered moving him into the press box but said she felt this may ostracise him.

Judge Joseph said: “He was pretty comfortable where he was in the jury box and did not wish to be put to one side. In light of that, it would be wrong of me to make him do that.

“He believes that the complaint has come from a number of jurors.”

She also said it worried her that as the weather got warmer it could lead to more complaints.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett had called for the juror to be discharged and for the trial to continue but all four defence counsels disagreed.

Cases in the crown court cost an estimated £3,000 a day.

In 2005 a blackmail trial in Gloucester was discharged after two jurors complained about another smelly juror.

Levan Greenfield, 22, Ashley Milne, 23, both of Peckham, and Brandon Francis, 19, of West Dulwich, and Benjamin Onwuma, 20, of Walworth, all denied murdering Mr Sanderson in the early hours of October, 25 last year.

A new jury was sworn in today at 3pm ready to hear the case again from the beginning.