Saturday 21 July 2018

Jury in baby murder trial to return to consider verdict tomorrow

John Tighe (40) pictured leaving the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts
John Tighe (40) pictured leaving the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

Eoin Reynolds

A jury will return to the Central Criminal Court tomorrow to consider its verdict in the trial of a man who denies murdering his infant son.

John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo has pleaded not guilty to murdering six-and-a-half-month old Joshua Sussbier Tighe at his home on June 1, 2013.

Justice Patrick McCarthy told the jurors there are three verdicts available to them: guilty of murder, not guilty of murder, or not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He told them they must be unanimous and to take as long as they wish.

It is the prosecution case that baby Joshua choked on a wad of two scrunched up pieces of tissue that was placed in his throat by the accused. Mr Tighe has maintained from the outset that he was changing the baby's nappy, went to the toilet and when he returned Joshua was choking on the tissue.

Justice McCarthy explained to the jury that to be guilty of murder, Mr Tighe must have committed an unlawful act with the intention to kill or cause serious injury to baby Joshua. Manslaughter arises, he said, if they are satisfied he committed the "physical action" but the prosecution has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that he had that intention.

Having spent four hours and 25 minutes deliberating, the jury will return Friday.

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