Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Alison O'Riordan

A jury will return to the Central Criminal Court on Thursday to consider its verdict in the trial of a man accused of murdering his former partner Nadine Lott by inflicting “severe blunt force trauma” injuries to her in a “sustained attack” in her Arklow home.

The jury of seven men and five women began considering their verdict on Wednesday morning and have spent a total of four hours and 18 minutes deliberating in another courtroom in the Criminal Courts of Justice building.

At 4pm today the registrar at the Central Criminal Court asked the foreman if they had reached a verdict on which they all agreed. He replied: “No”.

Mr Justice Michael MacGrath said he would adjourn proceedings until Thursday morning as the jury had spent in excess of four hours deliberating on Wednesday.

He added: “Leave anything from the case in the jury room, don’t speak to anyone about the case and keep as far away as possible from media coverage of the case.”

Daniel Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old ex-partner Ms Lott at her apartment in St Mary’s Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17th 2019.

The jury has heard that Ms Lott suffered “severe blunt force trauma” and stab injuries at the hands of her former partner “in a sustained and violent attack” in her Arklow home. They have heard evidence that the injuries to Ms Lott were so serious that she never regained consciousness and died three days later in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

An intensive care nurse at the hospital gave evidence that Ms Lott was “completely unrecognisable” and that she had never seen anybody so badly injured.

Concluding his charge on Tuesday, Mr Justice MacGrath asked the jurors to act clinically, dispassionately and without sympathy towards the deceased, her family, the accused or his family.

Courtroom evidence

The judge said the jurors must confine their deliberations to the evidence which had been presented to them in the courtroom and they could not speculate.

The judge said if the jury are satisfied that the prosecution had discharged the burden of proof to kill or cause serious injury, they can find Mr Murtagh guilty of murder.

However, if they are not satisfied of the accused’s requisite intention, they must acquit him of murder and return a verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

At the outset of the trial, Brendan Grehan SC, defence counsel for Mr Murtagh, made a number of admissions of fact to the court on behalf of his client. These included that the accused accepted that he had unlawfully killed Ms Lott and he “alone inflicted the injuries she suffered”.

The issue to be decided by the jury, Mr Grehan said, will be his intent and in the “broader sense his mental state at the time”.

The jurors will return to the Central Criminal Court to continue their deliberations at 10.30am on Thursday morning.

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