Case ends moments after jury sworn in for Cork trial

Case ends moments after jury sworn in for Cork trial

Members of the public who came to the courthouse in Washington Street Cork in response to a summons to attend for jury service found themselves empanelled for an extraordinarily short trial.

A JURY sworn in for a trial that ended moments after it began will not have seen that kind of case in TV courtroom dramas, said the presiding judge.

Members of the public who came to the courthouse in Washington Street Cork in response to a summons to attend for jury service found themselves empanelled for an extraordinarily short trial.

The accused man, 29-year-old Stephen McCarthy of Spring Lane halting site, Cork, first stood and pleaded not guilty two charges.

They related to December 20, 2018 at Bally- trasna, Little Island, Co Cork. Mr McCarthy denied producing a machete and causing criminal damage to a car. Six men and six women were sworn in to hear evidence.

Prosecution barrister Imelda Kelly said she was not going to make an opening speech and instead asked for the two main prosecution witnesses to be called to give evidence. Neither were present. Ms Kelly BL then said: “There being no appearance I have no further evidence.” 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said to the freshly sworn jurors: “You don’t see this on TV.” He then directed them to find the accused man not guilty on both charges and said: “Your business is done.” 

Judge Ó Donnabháin said to the jury as they were discharged: “Sorry about that. The people who made the complaints have not turned up. Unfortunately, once it starts you have to go through the whole rigmarole.”

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