Jury fail to reach verdict in murder trial

A jury in the trial of a Wicklow man accused of murder was tonight sent to a hotel and will resume their deliberations tomorrow morning at the Central Criminal Court.

A jury in the trial of a Wicklow man accused of murder was tonight sent to a hotel and will resume their deliberations tomorrow morning at the Central Criminal Court.

The jury of seven men and five women failed to reach a verdict after 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Richard O’Carroll (33) with addresses at Greenpark Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow and Cois Sleibhe, Southern Cross Road, Bray has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Keith Fortune (27) of Hazelwood Upper, Dargle Road, Bray.

Mr Fortune allegedly died as a result of an incident at the William Dargan Inn, Goldsmith Terrace, on Quinsboro Road in Bray in the early hours of 2 May, 1999. He was in the company of family celebrating the christening of a child earlier that day.

Before Ms Justice Elizabeth sent the jury to a hotel, she re-read the evidence of the accused man’s former partner, Ms Stephanie Carroll, who testified last week.

Ms Carroll told the jury during the trial that the deceased man allegedly spoke to Mr O’Carroll about their Down’s Syndrome baby daughter in the pub on the night in question.

The court heard that Richard O’Carroll had an eight-month baby daughter with Down’s Syndrome at the time of killing.

The accused man, the court heard, allegedly told Ms Carroll that the deceased man asked him "how the mongo was", referring to their baby daughter, on the night of the fatal stabbing.

Ms Carroll told the jury that shortly after midnight the deceased man "nodded to Richie to go outside" the pub. Ms Carroll understood this to mean that the deceased man wanted to fight with her partner.

Ms Carroll said the accused man followed Mr Fortune outside after a few minutes.

"I could see them fighting through the glass door of the pub," she told the jury.

When Ms Carroll went outside to the fight she claims that she managed successfully to stop the fight, pulling the two men apart from each other.

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