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Graham Dwyer Trial: Jury to resume deliberations tomorrow morning

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Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

The jury on the trial of Graham Dwyer has been sent home for the night after one hour and 28 minutes of deliberations.

Judge Tony Hunt called the jury back into court room number 13 at 4pm and said he assumed they had not yet reached a verdict.

The jury foreman nodded his head and confirmed they will continue their deliberations at 11am tomorrow.

The court registrar said they had been deliberating for one hour and 28 minutes according to the court clock.

Mr Dwyer has pleaded not guilty to murdering Elaine O'Hara (36) at Killikee, Rathfarnham, on August 22, 2012.

Her skeletal remains were discovered on September 13, 2013.

The prosecution maintains that Mr Dwyer stabbed her to death for his own sexual gratification.

Earlier today, Mr Justice Hunt told the jury they must find the accused guilty or not guilty of murder.

He said Mr Dwyer was alleged to have stabbed Ms O’Hara to death in the Dublin Mountains, and the proposition of consent or an accidental death is not being put before them.

The judge recharged the jury members for more than two hours this morning after initially sending the jury out to begin their deliberations yesterday afternoon.

“It’s guilty of murder or not guilty of murder depending on your view of the facts or not,” the judge told the jury this morning.

Judge Hunt told the jury foreman he wanted to refer back to a question he had asked yesterday when he asked: “What do we have to find the defendant guilty of?"

“First and foremost, you’re not obliged to convict of anything,” Judge Hunt said, referring to one charge of murder being on the issue paper.

He added that the causation was alleged to be stabbing.

“Before we get to intention you have to decide was there a stabbing, that’s the offence as put forward,” he said.

“The only two verdicts are guilty or not guilty.”

He said they are not being asked to consider an accidental death.

“That’s out of the picture.”

As the jury broke for lunch, the foreman said: “I just want to say it did not mean to come out like that.”

The judge replied: “When it comes to things coming out not like they're meant to, I have a first class honours degree in it.”

Earlier this morning, the presiding judge in the Graham Dwyer murder trial told the jury he had to give them further directions before they continue considering a verdict.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jury, who had already begun deliberations, that he had a “nasty surprise” - they would have to wait until after he added to his closing remarks.

This included a summary of evidence from Elaine O'Hara's treating psychiatrist.

Judge Hunt said in allowing them to retire in the planned time yesterday, he had “shifted up gears too quickly."

The jurors had been out for just 40 minutes yesterday after Judge Hunt completed delivering his two-day charge to them.

They were expected to resume deliberations later today when the judge finishes giving his additional instructions.

“I have a nasty surprise for you,” Judge Hunt told the jury this morning. He reminded them that he had told them on Monday that he expected to let them retire yesterday afternoon.

“I did but at the price of shifting up the gears too quickly,” he said.

“It seems to me looking back at it there are a couple of things I do need to deal with in more detail,” he said.

He asked for their indulgence, explaining that “it would have been nice” to have done it in the time he had said, but it would “rest easier in my mind” if he completed his remarks in the manner he wanted to.

One legal issue he wanted to address was any suggestion in his charge that there was any evidence that could prove something with “mathematical accuracy.”

“It’s an incorrect reference,” he said, explaining that “human affairs are not capable of that level of proof.”

“Mathematical accuracy doesn’t come into it, it is not a required standard and not an achievable standard,” he said.

He then said he wanted to deal with the evidence of Dr Matt Murphy, Ms O’Hara’s treating psychiatrist up to the time of her disappearance. He read out a summary of Dr Murphy’s evidence, which included reference to the notes of the late Professor Anthony Clare, who had treated Ms O’Hara in the years before his death in 2007.

The evidence summarised Ms O’Hara’s psychiatric history which had been heard during the trial, including her admissions to St Edmundsbury Hospital, her diagnosis with borderline personality disorder, her depression and suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Yesterday, Judge Hunt told the jury they must acquit Mr Dwyer if there is a reasonable possibility Elaine O’Hara died by suicide.

“You cannot convict unless you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the case put forward by (prosecutor) Mr Guerin is established,” he said. “If you are so satisfied, you are obliged to convict. If not, if you are left short, if it simply does not add up, if there’s another possibility, a reasonable doubt that cannot be overcome, your obligation is to acquit.”

Judge Hunt read Mr Murphy’s evidence to the court for more than an hour and when he finished he apologised to the jury for not reading it yesterday.

He said that the evidence by Dr Murphy was important for both the defence and the prosecution as it showed Ms O’Hara’s condition over the years.

“Obviously the defence is focused on suicidality,” he said. “You have to consider the issues.”

The judge said the jury has access to both of the personalities of the parties communicating by phone, including if one or both of them were fantasists.

He said it was also a fair observation that when assessing Ms O’Hara, her thoughts of suicide are part of her mental health, but he stated that Dr Murphy’s theories were more important than his or that of the prosecution or defence.

“He is the treating doctor and he has the expertise on suicide and suicidality,” he added.

Judge Hunt also reminded the jury forensic evidence given by scientists from the Forensic Science Laboratory was also important to the case.

He then read over the evidence of Dr Fiona Thornton who analysed a number of exhibits in the case, including items found at Killakee Woods on September 2013, as well as from searches at Vartry Reservoir and Mr Dwyer’s home and office.

Online Editors


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