The trial of a man accused of the murder of an early morning gym goer and the attempted murder of coach Pete Taylor at Bray Boxing Club has collapsed at the Central Criminal Court due to a juror becoming seriously ill.
Evidence was scheduled to continue before the 10 jurors on Monday but Mr Justice Michael White told the nine remaining jurors this morning that one of their number could not continue to attend the trial as she had to "go back into" hospital.
The judge said that whilst the juror's illness was not "life-threatening", it was "impossible to continue" as they had "gone below 10 jurors".
Mr Justice White thanked the jury of three men and six women before discharging them from their civic duty.
"My sincere thanks to you all. You have been a fantastic jury and shown real public service commitment. Thank you very much, you are now free to go," he added. He exempted the nine jurors from jury service for life.
Not guilty plea
He then listed Gerard Cervi's case for mention before the Central Criminal Court on October 11th.
Mr Cervi (34), from the East Wall area in Dublin 3, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Bobby Messett (50) at Bray Boxing Club, Bray Harbour, Bray, Co Wicklow on June 5th, 2018. He also denied the attempted murder of boxing trainer Peter Taylor and Ian Britton on the same date and location.
The trial, which opened on June 30th, was originally due to finish in August and two jurors asked to be discharged when the finish date was extended to September. On August 24th, the remaining ten jurors further agreed to sit on until October 22nd.
However, nine members of the jury arrived in court last Thursday and Mr Justice White told them he was "sorry to hear about the illness to one of your number." He said he hoped the juror would make a good recovery and adjourned the trial until Monday when he expected the court to have more information on the juror's condition.
Fewer than 10
Mr Justice White had previously told the jury that the trial could not continue with fewer than 10 jurors.
He had also previously apologised to the jury for the "very bad underestimation" of how long the trial would take.
The trial had heard that a gunman entered Bray Boxing Club at about 6.50am and opened fire. He shot Mr Messett in the head, killing him instantly. Mr Britton was shot in the leg.
Boxing trainer Peter Taylor, who was running the class, ran towards the gunman but was shot in the shoulder and fell to the ground.