SHE went to court out of curiosity, to see how the Australian legal system works.
But within days, the 30-year-old Chinese-Australian had been on bail, had narrowly escaped a conviction for contempt of court and had her fingerprints taken by the police.
All she had done was to enter a Downing Centre courtroom and use her phone to take a picture of the jury, which included her best friend's husband. A member of the jury noticed it and sent a note alerting the judge, who charged her with contempt of court.
Before she knew it, her phone had been confiscated, she was addressed by the judge, placed on bail and told to seek legal representation.
A sheriff examined her phone and found a photo showing at least nine jury members - a serious offence because their identity is protected by law.
The District Court judge James Bennett stopped the woman explaining, fearing she might say something that could prejudice her case. But an explanation soon came in a second note from the jury.
It said the woman was a friend of one of the jurors. ''Without realising the consequences, he told her what courtroom we were in … He realises this was a mistake and is sorry. The jury is aware of the seriousness of this case and it will not happen again. Many apologies.''
On Friday, the same judge who had charged the woman dismissed the charge against her, without recording a conviction.
''She was charged with contempt because of the serious nature of the misconduct in which she engaged,'' Judge Bennett said, ordering her to report to the local police station and have her fingerprints taken ''for identification''.
He acknowledged that the woman - who cannot be named so as not to identify the juror - had experienced considerable distress, anxiety and expense. ''[Her] conduct … involved no nefarious purpose. It was simply … to mark the occasion she took some photos,'' Judge Bennett said.
Character references showed the woman had been an accounting student at the University of Sydney, was ''hard working and warm hearted'' and ''strictly followed the rules of the university''.
In a letter to the court admitting the offence, the woman said: ''I did not know taking a picture would offend the court or transgress its progress … If anybody or any signs had ever told me that I could not take pictures at court I would never do it.
''I was at court that day only due to curiosity of the law system here in Australia … I am aware that one of my friends is undertaking jury duty currently. I thought I could visit the court that he was in and to watch how the court is functioning.''
The day after she was charged signs went up all over the Downing Centre courts, notifying visitors not to take photos. The Judicial Commission has received a complaint about Judge Bennett who charged the woman with contempt when no signs indicated it was an offence. But Judge Bennett rejected the allegations in the complaint as inaccurate.