Tuesday 16 January 2018

Jobstown jury sent home after two hours deliberating on verdicts

Deputy Paul Murphy has denied falsely imprisoning former Tanáiste Deputy Joan Burton. Photo: Collins Courts
Deputy Paul Murphy has denied falsely imprisoning former Tanáiste Deputy Joan Burton. Photo: Collins Courts

Andrew Phelan

THE jury in the Jobstown false imprisonment trial has been sent home for the night after spending just under two hours deliberating on verdicts.

Judge Melanie Greally told the seven men and 11 women to suspend deliberations until tomorrow morning.

The jury is considering verdicts in the cases of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and five other men charged with falsely imprisoning then-Tanaiste Joan Burton at an anti-water charges protest in 2014.

Mr Murphy (34), along with south Dublin councillors Michael Murphy (53) and Kieran Mahon (39) and three other men - Michael Banks (46), Frank Donaghy (71) and Scott Masterson (34) - all deny falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her advisor Karen O’Connell at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown in Tallaght, Dublin on November 15, 2014.

When the jury returned at 3.57pm today, Judge Greally said she was suspending deliberations and advised the members not to discuss the case with anyone else.

Total deliberating time was an hour and 53 minutes.

Earlier, Judge Greally re-charged the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court following a day of legal argument. She told them there were "very important" issues she had to revisit before they continue deliberating.

Among the 18 points she advised them on was a "third" way out former Tanaiste Joan Burton could have used to leave the water charges protest at which she was allegedly imprisoned.

The prosecution maintains Ms Burton and Ms O’Connor were trapped inside two garda vehicles for around three hours as they tried to leave the area.

It has been argued by the State they were falsely imprisoned because when the cars were surrounded, they were "totally restrained"- they were unable to leave on foot because of the danger and the cars were not able to move away.

The State also allege the imprisonment of the pair was intentional and the accused men acted in a joint enterprise.

Defence lawyers have argued there was no false imprisonment.

They maintain that the accused were exercising their constitutional right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and that the obstruction to the cars was no more than "an inconvenience, delay and a nuisance."

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