Murder trial jury spots CCTV tape gap

A jury was discharged yesterday after they discovered a 29-second gap in CCTV footage used during a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Justice Carmel Stewart said the gap was not spotted by counsel for the prosecution or defence and that it could have been significant. The jury had described the missing footage as “crucial”.

Donal Colgan, aged 65, of Killarney Court, Killarney St, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to murdering David Sheridan, aged 45, outside Luigi’s chip shop on the capital’s North Strand Rd on August 17/18, 2014.

The jury had spent about three hours deliberating when they returned to ask about the missing footage. Justice Stewart sent the jurors away and, on their return, she told them counsel for the prosecution and defence had confirmed the portion was missing.

She said it was a “mistake” and added: “It now transpires that one of you has spotted what people in the trial had not spotted, because we were not watching the clock in the corner.”

She said it was a “significant” piece of time and told them Patrick Marrinan, defending, had applied to her to discharge the jury.

Saying that fair procedure must apply, she added: “I have no option but to discharge you.”

She thanked them for their diligence and exempted them from jury duty for 10 years. Mr Colgan will return to court on December 19.


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