Friday 16 November 2018

Paul Wells murder trial adjourned as juror out sick

Tragic: Kenneth O’Brien, who was shot and dismembered
Tragic: Kenneth O’Brien, who was shot and dismembered

Andrew Phelan

THE Paul Wells murder trial has been adjourned after a juror was unable to attend court today due to illness.

The remaining jury members in the trial, which was due to begin its sixth day this morning, were sent home and told to return next Monday.

The jury has been hearing evidence since last week in the trial of Mr Wells, who is accused of murdering father-of-one Kenneth O’Brien.

Mr Wells (50), of Barnamore Park, Finglas, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O’Brien (33) at that address between January 15 and 16, 2016.

He admitted to gardai that he shot him dead but said it happened when they struggled during a row after Mr O’Brien turned up at his home with a gun.

The accused claimed Mr O’Brien had wanted to have his own partner Eimear Dunne murdered and Mr Wells refused to kill her.

He said after he shot Mr O’Brien, he “panicked” and dismembered the remains, which were later found in a suitcase and shopping bags in the Grand Canal in Co Kildare.

“One of your number, as you know, is missing this morning,” Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the jury. “I believe she is unwell. It is proposed to adjourn matters until Monday morning.”

He told the jurors he was “sorry about the inconvenience but that is the way it has to be done.”

There are 11 jury members in the trial - six men and five women. One juror was excused from further service in the trial on Monday this week after she brought it to the court's attention that she knew a person who had been mentioned in the proceedings.

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