The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a man accused of murdering a 25-year-old man in Waterford last year.
At the Central Criminal Court, Tadhg Butler, aged 34, with an address at Seafield in Tramore, Co Waterford, has denied murdering Michael O’Dwyer at that address on January 10, 2014.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy yesterday told the jury to bring in a verdict in this trial based on the evidence they have heard.
He told the jury he was required by law to give them a summary of the evidence and he would go into somewhat greater detail than usually arises.
The judge said from the outset he would address the topic concerning the status of what the accused had said in his closing speech yesterday and how some of it was not evidence at all and they were certainly not entitled to take it into account.
“I do not mean to say that all Mr Butler said is to be disregarded, in so far as anything he said was not grounded in actual evidence then you have an obligation to revoke it,” he said.
The judge also told the court he did not interrupt Mr Butler in his closing speech, as the accused should have every opportunity to defend himself.
“A very considerable part of his speech were parts of the evidence but leaving it to the jury’s minds, you must decide the case on the evidence,” he said, adding he usually does not have to refer to this but he had to say it in this case as he would be failing the prosecution in his responsibility otherwise.
Mr Justice McCarthy
told the jury they were required to be unanimous in their decision and said he would give two of the knives to them as they were of “considerable importance in analysing the case.”
The jury retired at 3.33pm.
Before 5pm, the jury foreman came back to ask if they were able to use the suggestion by Mr Butler that he accidentally stabbed the deceased as evidence.
“I’ve told you what counsel or Mr Butler says on a free standing basis is not evidence in the case, the evidence was what was said in the witness box,” said the judge as he reread the relevant parts relating to the evidence in the case.
The jury’s deliberations continue at 10am today.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved