Jury out again in Kearney murder trial

The jury in the trial of an electrical contractor accused of strangling his wife with a vacuum cleaner flex resumed its deliberations for a second day today.

Brian Kearney, aged 51, pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Siobhan at their family home in a south Dublin suburb two years ago.

The 38-year-old mother of one was found dead, locked in her bedroom, by her father on February 28, 2006.

The jury, which retired yesterday afternoon to consider the evidence, was sent to a hotel for the night after one hour and 44 minutes of deliberations.

Jurors have been directed by Mr Justice Barry White to return a unanimous verdict.

The trial judge also told the eight women and four men they had to be cold, analytical and dispassionate.

He reminded them that Kearney was entitled to the presumption of innocence and that guilt had to be proved by the State beyond all reasonable doubt.

During the 10-day hearing, the prosecution alleged Kearney strangled his wife with a vacuum cleaner flex and staged the scene to look like suicide, pushing the bedroom key back under the locked door.

The couple’s then three-year-old son was discovered wandering around the detached house in Goatstown alone.

Kearney’s lawyers maintain that although the accused said he and their son were the only people in the house at the time of Mrs Kearney’s death on the morning of his 49th birthday, she took her own life.

An autopsy revealed Mrs Kearney died from ligature strangulation, but suffered many injuries more consistent with manual strangulation.

The prosecution also claimed that although the accused was well-off on paper, he was financially overstretched and separation would have added to that burden.

Barristers for Kearney, who has no previous convictions, dismissed the motive and maintained there was no shortfall in funds.

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