Trial of accused kidnapper Jonathan Gill collapses
The trial of a man accused of kidnapping a family as part of a €660,000 robbery has collapsed amid concerns some jurors were getting information from outside the trial.
Jonathan Gill (35) is accused of a kidnapping a Drogheda postal worker, his partner and their 10-week-old baby daughter before robbing €660,000 from the man's workplace.
The jury of seven men and five women had deliberated for a total of just over 14 hours since last Thursday, following the month long trial.
On the fifth day of deliberations the jury foreman handed a note in to Judge Elma Sheahan.
The note stated: “I feel it is my duty to inform you I suspect people are getting information from people outside the jury.”
“They're using that information to make their decision. That is so wrong”.
The juror also said that two strangers were heard talking about the case on a tram.
On day five of its deliberations Judge Elma Sheahan told the jury that due to information of the utmost gravity coming to the court's attention she was discharging the jury from its duty.
She said it was regrettable but inevitable that the case must come to an end, she said.
It is the State's case that Mr Gill was one of a group of five who were involved in holding the family hostage in their own home before moving them to a shed about a 90-minute drive away.
Mr Gill of Malahide Road, Swords, Dublin, has pleaded not (NOT) guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning Warren Nawn, Jean Marie Nawn and their ten-week-old baby in Drogheda between August 1 and August 2, 2011.
Before the jury was discharged Dean Kelly BL, defending, submitted to the court that his client's entitlement to a fair trial had been compromised.
He said that “the horse had bolted” and the situation could not be remedied.
Judge Sheahan thanked the jurors for their patience and time. She told them that the case may go to another jury and so it was important not to discuss their deliberations with anybody else.
She remanded the accused on continuing bail to appear again before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on April 28.