A JURY in a murder trial have been given 'protected' status after a member of the public was arrested on suspicion of juror intimidation.

Police said members of the jury in the trial of four men accused of murdering Blackburn couple Abdullah and Ayesha Mohammed had passed at least two notes to the judge saying they felt intimidated by two men.

The note said the men had been coming in and out of court during Tuesday's and Wednesday's sessions and 'staring intently’ in the direction of the jury, according to police.

Police said the protected status was after an ‘accumulation of incidents’ which left one juror afraid to leave the building on her lunch break.

As the Judge, Lord Justice Richard Henriques, began summing up the trial for the benefit of the jury, two men were ejected by court staff and police.

A court usher noted they had come in and out of the court five times in 25 minutes on Wednesday.

Officers were called to the Preston Sessions House building on Wednesday and a 24-year-old man was arrested and bailed pending police inquiries.

His bail conditions ban him from attending the rest of the trial.

Now the jury, which is due to start considering its verdict on Monday, has 'protected' status.

It means they will be bussed to and from the court for the remainder of the case.

Judge Justice Henriques said in open court that 'measures have been put in place to ensure the jury don't feel intimidated'.

The trial of four East London men accused of murdering the innocent couple in a house fire is its fifth week.

Hisamuddin Ibrahim, 21, Sadek Miah, 23, Mohammed Junaid Miah, 19, and Habib Iqbal, 25, are all charged with the murder of Abdullah and Ayesha Mohammed who died after a botched arson attack at their home in London Road, Blackburn, last October.

Hisamuddin Ibrahim is accused of organising the arson attack to avenge the family honour after their sister Hafija, 22, had an affair outside of her marriage.

But the crown allege that his three co-defendants set the fire, intending to kill her lover Mo Ibrahim (no relation), but got the wrong house.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We can confirm a 24-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on suspicion of witness/juror intimidation.

"He has been bailed until August 18 with conditions not to enter Preston Sessions House.”

All four defendants deny murder. Sadek Miah has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

No proceedings took place yesterday as a jury member was unwell.

The judge was due to continue his summing up throughout today.