Jury in Murphy manslaughter yet to reach verdict

The jury in the Brian Murphy manslaughter trial has been sent to a hotel overnight after failing to reach a verdict on any charge on day-31 of the hearing.

The jury in the Brian Murphy manslaughter trial has been sent to a hotel overnight after failing to reach a verdict on any charge on day-31 of the hearing.

Judge Michael White earlier ordered that he would only accept a unanimous verdict on all seven charges that the eight men and four women must consider.

The judge spent two-and-a-half days charging the jury after it heard evidence from over 100 witnesses in the course of the last six weeks.

He sent them out just after 12.30pm today but after a number of submissions were made to him by counsel on behalf of the four accused he recalled them after lunch and addressed them for a further one hour-and-a-half.

Judge White emphasised that it was the prosecution’s case that the three accused facing the manslaughter charge were all part of a ‘common design’ whereby they intended to inflict more than trivial harm to Mr Murphy.

He also stressed that it was now the prosecution’s case that the fourth accused, Mr Andrew Frame, had not inflicted any violence but that he threatened to use violence and he said the jury must be satisfied that that threat was unlawful.

He said the main evidence against Mr Frame was from Mr Murphy’s friend, Mr Michael Hussey, who told the court the accused was part of a wave of people who came from the footpath and began to attack the deceased.

Judge White said Mr Hussey had also told the court he didn’t see Mr Frame throw any punches or kicks to Mr Murphy but he (Mr Hussey) went for him because he was part of that group.

Judge White told the jury that this evidence was not corroborated by any other witness and it had to be satisfied of it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sean Mackey, aged 23, from South Park, Foxrock, Desmond Ryan, aged 23, from Cunningham Road, Dalkey, all Co Dublin, and Dermot Laide, aged 22, from Rossvale, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of 18-year-old Mr Murphy at Sussex Road on August 31, 2000.

Mr Frame, aged 22, from Nutley Lane, Donnybrook, had also denied that charge but last week Judge White directed that he be found not guilty because of insufficient evidence against him.

The four former Blackrock College students have also denied committing violent disorder by using or threatening to use unlawful violence on the same date.

The trial continues.

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