Jury fail to reach verdict in murder trial

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A murder trial jury was discharged today , Monday, after saying they could not agree on a verdict.

Keith Brady (30) of Cartron Estate, Sligo had pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of 59-year-old Martin ‘Matt’ Kivlehan at New Apartments, Holborn St, Sligo on August 2/3 2015. His plea was not accepted and he underwent a two-week trial at the Central Criminal Court. During the trial the jury heard that Mr Kivlehan died from two stab wounds to the neck.

Mr Brady accepted that he stabbed the deceased and caused his death and the six women and five men were asked to decide if that amounted to murder or manslaughter.

Shortly before 3pm today the jury foreman handed a note to Justice Paul McDermott to say they would not be able to reach a unanimous verdict. Justice McDermott told them they could return a verdict if ten of them agreed. Less than one hour later they returned and the foreman told the registrar that they had not reached a majority verdict and had written “disagreement” on the issue paper.

Justice McDermott thanked them for their service and exempted them from further service for 20 years. He remanded Mr Brady until next Monday December 4 “on the off-chance that there is an opportunity to deal with the matter.”
Evidence was unconvincing

Mr Brady told gardai he stabbed the deceased while “out of it” and his defence asked the jury to consider whether he was too intoxicated to form the necessary intent for murder and should therefore be convicted of manslaughter. The jury also had to consider whether Mr Brady was provoked by the deceased.

In statements made to gardai Mr Brady alleged that Mr Kivlehan had “touched up” his sister Janice. In one interview he said Janice was saying: “Stop touching me, stop touching me,” and that this was going on for a few minutes. He added: “I thought he was going to do something to her or something.”

In a later statement he said he remembered the deceased getting “grumpier” and his sister getting “loud”. He said he heard the deceased say something like: “I wouldn’t touch Janice.” Then he stood up and stabbed Mr Kivlehan in a “freak moment” but couldn’t remember where he got the knife.

Justice McDermott told the jury to consider whether it is reasonably possible that Mr Brady’s account is true and then whether it is possible that this caused Mr Brady totally to lose his self control.

When considering the defence of provocation he said they should take into account Mr Brady’s character, temperament and circumstances. If they found that it was possible that he was provoked, they should find him not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter.

If the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had the intention to kill or cause serious injury and that he was not provoked, they were told to find him guilty of murder.

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