independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Paul Zambra acquitted of murder on direction of judge

Paul Zambra

A 35-YEAR-OLD man has been acquitted of murdering another Dubliner on the direction of the trial judge.

Paul Zambra had pleaded not guilty to murdering 36-year-old Sean McMahon five years ago at his home on Donaghmore Avenue, Tallaght.



Mr McMahon was found dead by his partner on November 14, 2007. He had been shot in his bed.



The trial opened at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday of last week before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.



However, the jury was then sent away while all sides dealt with a legal issue.



The 12 jurors returned to court this afternoon, when Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, said he was not offering any further evidence in the case.



The judge then acceded to a defence request to direct the jury to acquit Zambra.



“From time to time, issues of law arise and the jury is asked to withdraw,” explained Mr Justice McCarthy. “In this instance, I dealt with serious legal issues over a number of days.”



He said he had considered the matter overnight and had given his judgement to both sides in the morning.



“All that remains before you is the evidence that Mr Buckley called on the first day,” he explained. “It did not, in any way, point the finger at the accused.”



He explained that if that was the sole evidence, the accused must be acquitted.



“I direct you now, as a matter of law, to acquit the accused,” he said.



The forewoman of the jury signed the issue paper and the judge discharged Zambra from the indictment.



Zambra, of Inagh Road, Ballyfermot, then walked free from the Criminal Courts of Justice.

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