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Retrial ordered in case of man who had murder conviction quashed over jury's visit to rubbish chute

David O’Loughlin had been sentenced to life in prison.

Dublin's Central Criminal Court
Dublin's Central Criminal Court
Image: Google Maps

A RETRIAL IS set to take place after a man’s murder conviction was quashed over a jury’s visit to the scene of the crime.

A Central Criminal Court jury sitting in Cork unanimously found David O’Loughlin guilty of murdering a man he assaulted and forced into the refuse chute of an apartment building, where the victim got snagged and died.

He was accordingly given the mandatory life sentence by Mr Justice Paul Carney on 31 March 2015. However, O’Loughlin’s conviction was quashed earlier this month.

O’Loughlin (30), of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Liam Manley (59) at his apartment complex in the city on 12 May 2013.

Permission to visit chute 

The Court of Appeal heard that, after considerable time deliberating, the foreman of the jury asked for permission to visit the chute before making a final decision. It is not common for a jury to visit a location but it’s not unheard of. It is not known to have happened during jury deliberations before, which is what happened in this case.

Quashing the verdict on 9 February, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said the decision to permit the jury’s visit to the chute in the absence of an application from either the defence or the prosecution was technically unlawful and in conflict with section 22 of the Juries Act.

In a statement released today, Michael Halleron of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, who is representing O’Loughlin, said:

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“During the original trial the judge consented to an inspection of the scene in the absence of the defence team. We can confirm that the Court today directed that the case will be remitted back to the Central Criminal Court for retrial.”

With reporting by Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Órla Ryan

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