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Jury deliberating in trial of man charged with baseball bat murder

Jooda Akanbi
Jooda Akanbi

The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a 39-year-old man, charged with murdering another man with a baseball bat in broad daylight on a busy street.

The accused claims that he was acting in self defence when he hit him over the head with the bat on the main street of a north Dublin town.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard that a fight broke out between two men with baseball bats shortly before lunchtime on October 10th, 2013 on Main Street, Swords.

Jooda Akanbi (39) is charged with murdering 45-year-old Taiwo Jamani on November 13th, 2013, the date of his death in hospital due to a severe, traumatic brain injury.

Mr Akanbi of Ashton Avenue, Applewood in Swords has pleaded not guilty to murdering his fellow Nigerian. He went on trial last week and the evidence finished on Wednesday.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt today told the jurors that they had four options open to them in reaching three possible verdicts. Apart from finding him guilty or acquitting him of murder, they can also find him not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

He explained that they could reach the manslaughter verdict either if they were not satisfied he had the necessary intent to kill or seriously injure or if they thought he acted in self defence, but used excessive force.

He reminded them that it was the prosecution case that there was no self defence, just a row, and that he did have the necessary intent. The State has asked for a guilty verdict or a verdict of manslaughter at the least.

The judge explained to the jury that it was not a crime if the accused had performed the act in lawful self defence. He noted that the defence invited the jury to acquit the accused on these grounds or, at the most, find him guilty of manslaughter by reason of excessive self defence. 

The judge said that it could be that six of the jury wanted to find him guilty of murder and six wanted to acquit him. He warned them that it would be improper of them to convict him of manslaughter on that basis.

“All 12 of you must agree on the same verdict on the same basis,” he said, adding that their verdict must be unanimous.

He told them they would be given the exhibits in the case, including both baseball bats and a box of gloves with which to handle them.

The five women and seven men had deliberated for an hour and four minutes before being sent home for the evening. They will resume deliberations this (Friday) morning.