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Pair accused in Joel killing will face retrial

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ordered a retrial into the alleged unlawful killing of 59-year-old Evelyn Joel.

Last month, a jury at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court failed to reach a verdict after more than three hours of deliberating.

Eleanor Joel (37), daughter of Evelyn; and her partner, Jonathan Costen (39), of Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; both denied the unlawful killing of Evelyn Joel on January 7, 2006.

The trial lasted for seven weeks and both the accused were remanded on continuing bail to appear before yesterday's sitting of Wexford Circuit Criminal Court before Judge Thomas Teehan.

John O'Kelly, defending Mr Costen, said various factors had to be taken into account by the court when setting a date for the retrial -- including the difficulty in selecting a jury.

He said this needed to be taken into consideration by the court, particularly in view of the amount of publicity generated by the last trial -- and the fact that proceedings only finished last month.

However, prosecutor Philip Sheahan said a retrial would hopefully conclude more swiftly.

Mr O'Kelly told the judge any retrial should not take another seven weeks.

The court also heard that the DPP had instructed that the retrial should proceed with due haste.

Judge Teehan said it appeared there would have to be a special hearing and adjourned the case until April, when a date for hearing is to be arranged.

Both accused were remanded on continuing bail.

Irish Independent