There will now have to be a new trial later in the year.
Niall Fitzpatrick, aged 46, had pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a 12-guage pump-action shotgun and ammunition and attempted aggravated burglary at the home of Pat Glavin at Rougrane, Glanmire, Co Cork, on August 11, 2013.
Yesterday was the sixth day of the trial before Judge David Riordan and a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The jury was sent out on Monday for legal discussion in their absence and were told to return at 11am yesterday. When they did, Judge Riordan said: “Thank you again for your patience. At this point unfortunately for reasons which I will not be in a position go into with you, I must discharge you. I see surprise on some of your faces. It is nothing to do with your good selves. Certain matters arose.
“The case will have to go on again. Unfortunately, I have to make this order… Having regard to the service you have give to date I will exempt you from jury service for the next five years.”
Mr Fitzpatrick of Corrin Close, the Glen, Cork, will have the case against him mentioned in the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court in June.
It will then be a matter for a date to be set for the swearing in of a new jury to hear the case afresh.
At the outset of the case on May 14, Tom Creed, prosecuting, said Mr Glavin ran a fast food business for 30 years with 12 chip vans serving at festivals, matches and other events, and occasionally kept cash in his home safe over bank holiday weekends — a practice he had security reviewed since.
Gardaí notified the Glavin family of their information related to a planned robbery at their home that weekend. The Glavins left their home, and gardaí went into concealed positions around the property. They spotted three men crouching and moving outside the house close to the window of Mr Glavin’s office at 10.30pm that night.
“The gardaí were at the entrance to a shed 10 metres away from where these individuals were. On a pre-arranged signal one of them threw a stun grenade which gave two very loud bangs and intense flashes of light to daze and disorientate.
“The gardaí had these special type of guns with torches on them. They ignited these and pointed them in the direction of the three individuals, the man in the centre they identified as Niall Fitzpatrick,” Mr Creed said.