Wednesday 21 August 2019

Jury in trial of murder of father-of-one to resume deliberations tomorrow

Victim Gerard Burnett
Victim Gerard Burnett

Alison O'Riordan

A jury will return to the Central Criminal Court tomorrow to consider its verdict in the trial of a 25-year-old man accused of murdering a father-of-one in north Dublin.

Having spent two hours and 16 minutes deliberating today, the five men and seven women told Mr Justice Paul Butler that they wanted to go home for the evening.

Andrew Gibney of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 on August 21, 2012.

The foreman of the jury this morning requested to re-hear the evidence of Chief State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.

Dr Marie Cassidy told the jury that Mr Burnett died as a result of multiple stabs wounds and blood loss due to injuries to the right lung, heart and liver.

The jury has previously heard that Mr Gibney told gardai on August 28 that he stabbed the deceased in the side three times with a knife.

The accused went to a garda station of his own free will and told officers: “I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace.”

The prosecution’s case is that Mr Gibney was part of a joint enterprise to murder Mr Burnett and he was one of five men who went to the deceased’s house on the night.

The defence said if the evidence pointed to a reasonable possibility that Mr Gibney intended to cause some harm to Mr Burnett short of serious harm, the appropriate verdict was manslaughter.

Mr Justice Butler previously said there were three verdicts the jury could return, namely; not guilty; guilty of murder; and not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He said their verdict must be unanimous.

The judge said yesterday that the principle of joint enterprise was central to the case.

He said where two or more persons embark on a joint enterprise, all parties to that agreement are criminally liable.

But where one party goes beyond what has been tacitly agreed, then the other is not liable for the consequences of this act.

He added that an accused is not presumed to have intended the consequences of the acts of other people within a joint enterprise.

The jury will resume its deliberations at 11am tomorrow.

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