Tuesday 12 December 2017

Jury to resume deliberations on Monday in Wicklow murder trial

Niamh O Donoghue

THE jury in the trial of a 27-year-old accused of murdering a man in Co Wicklow three years ago has suspended its deliberations for the weekend.

Michael Dickenson, of no fixed abode and formerly of Darragh Park, Wicklow town, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Steven O Meara at Ballydonnell Wood, Red Cross on or about August 6, 2009.

Mr O'Meara, a 26-year-old father-of-three from Rosehill in Wicklow town, was last seen on August 6, 2009 and his body was found by garda in a shallow grave in the woods five months later, on Christmas Eve.

Today Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the jury members that they were dealing with a case of joint enterprise or common design.

He told them it was not necessary to be the person who pulled the trigger to be held responsible for the killing.

The judge said it was the prosecutions case that there was a common design to kill or cause serious harm.

Mr Justice McCarthy told the jury the defence says there is insufficient evidence for participation to that extent.

He said if the participation was merely to the extent of assaulting or intimidating then it is manslaughter not murder.

The judge told them they would have to be satisfied there was an intention to kill or cause serious harm to find the accused guilty of murder.

The jury, who was deliberating for about an hour, will resume its deliberations on Monday.

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