A Central Criminal Court jury has been sent home for the evening after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a Kildare man accused of murdering his ex-partner.
Michael McDonald, who has been diagnosed with Alcohol Dependency Syndrome and described as having Scitzoaffective disorder by a clinical psychiatrist, stabbed Ms Breda Cummins in the chest six times at a house in Athy, Co Kildare.
McDonald (51) of Barnhill, Castledermot has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Cummins on May 13, 2010 at Michael Dooley Terrace, Athy. He has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the 31-year-old mother-of one but this plea has not been accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
McDonald has further pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to John Lawlor (44) of Pearse Terrace, Castledermot at Michael Dooley Terrace on the same date.
Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley reminded the jury that a unanimous verdict on both counts is the only verdict the court will accept.
She said that, despite the death of Ms Cummins being a “shocking, sad and outrageous death”, the jury must not let this cloud their judgement. She also said that any sympathy they may have for the accused, whom at a young age had shown great potential and is now a “pitiful state”, must not cloud their judgement either.
The jury of eight men and four women commenced their deliberations on Thursday afternoon and after one hour and 37 minutes Ms Justice O’Malley sent them home for the night to re-commence their deliberations in the morning.