Monday 22 May 2017

Jury discharged after juror falls asleep 15 minutes into trial

Mr Baker was about 15 minutes into his address and explaining the concept of 'beyond reasonable doubt' when the sleeping juror was discovered. Stock picture
Mr Baker was about 15 minutes into his address and explaining the concept of 'beyond reasonable doubt' when the sleeping juror was discovered. Stock picture

Isabel Hayes

The jury in a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial had to be discharged after a juror fell asleep 15 minutes into the trial opening.

Garrett Baker BL, prosecuting, was giving his opening address in the trial of Dean Joyce yesterday when it was perceived one of the male jurors was asleep.

Mr Baker was about 15 minutes into his address and explaining the concept of "beyond reasonable doubt" when the sleeping juror was discovered.

The opening address came to a halt as a jury minder approached the juror and woke him up. After a short adjournment, defence barrister Pieter Le Vert BL told Judge Elma Sheahan that another male juror had also appeared to be on the verge of nodding off.

"It would seem two jurors were struggling," Mr Le Vert said.

Mr Baker joked it was a "new low" for opening addresses.

The court heard it may not be legally possible to replace the two jurors, as the trial had already opened.

As a result, Judge Sheahan ruled that she should discharge the entire jury.

"In a most unusual turn of events, I'm going to thank you for your service and discharge you," she told them.

Mr Joyce (24), with an address in Rowlagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges, including endangering gardaí by driving his car into a garda van, four counts of dangerous driving and possession of stolen property in Ballyfermot and Clondalkin on March 3, 2015.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News