Assisted suicide jury told that verdict does not have to be unanimous

Gail O'Rorke
Gail O'Rorke

The jury in the trial of a woman accused of helping her friend take her own life has been told that it can return a verdict on which at least ten of them agree.

Judge Patrick McCartan told the jury of six men and six women that a majority verdict will suffice at 10.30 this morning after three and a half hours deliberations yesterday.

Gail O’Rorke (43), a taxi driver from Kilclare Gardens, Tallaght has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempting to aid and abet the suicide of Bernadette Forde (51) by means of attempting to arrange travel to Zurich, Switzerland for such purpose between March 10 and April 20, 2011.

Following legal argument last week Judge McCartan ordered the jury to acquit Ms O’Rorke of ordering a lethal dose of barbiturates from Mexico which were later taken by Ms Forde to end her life.

The judge also told the jury to find Ms O’Rorke not guilty of “procuring” the suicide of her friend by helping to organise her funeral before her death.