Judge recalls jury over clarifications

THE judge in the trial of Eamonn Lillis for the murder of his wife, Celine Cawley, said he held neither a sword for the prosecution nor a shield for the defence.

“I hope you don’t think otherwise and that my charge was directed toward securing a particular verdict. It was not,” Mr Justice Barry White said after recalling them.

“There are certain matters where I was wrong,” he said. He explained that instead of saying that Detective Sergeant Brian Cloone had no significant blood on him after giving Ms Cawley CPR, he should have said that he had no blood on him.

He had told them that Dr Haroon Khan hadn’t seen an injury on the defendant’s little finger.

“The evidence was that he had it in his notes and did observe it,” he said, adding Lillis had not complained to the doctor about it.

He had earlier said certain haemorrhages found by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis would not appear to have any significance. In his recharge he reminded the jury that such haemorrhages could be found in cases of postural asphyxia, such as Ms Cawley’s, as well as in other deaths. “You attach such significance to it as you see fit,” he said.

“I told you Dr Curtis’s evidence was that postural asphyxia could occur when on one’s back or one’s front. I didn’t tell you that it can occur on one’s side,” he said.

“I didn’t tell you that Dr Curtis said that death could result rapidly from postural asphyxia.”

He also reminded them that they could consider the verdict of manslaughter under four headings: lack of intent, provocation, self defence and criminal negligence or recklessness. He said that although the accused hadn’t made any of the manslaughter cases, the jury was still entitled to consider them.

Mr Justice White has told the jury that he will accept only a unanimous verdict, adding that if that is manslaughter, all 12 must be agreed on the reason. He also said that they could disagree.

“The most important thing is that you abide by your consciences,” he concluded.

Lillis, aged 52, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Cawley, aged 46, at their family home at Rowan Hill, Windgate Road, Howth, on December 15, 2008.

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