Jury in North Kerry murder trial sent home for evening

The jury in the north Kerry murder trial have been sent home for the evening.

63-year-old Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff has pleaded not guilty to the murder of John Anthony O’Mahony of Ardoughter, Ballyduff on April 4th 2017.

It is alleged Mr Ferris, a dairy farmer, intentionally rammed the 73-year-old tillage farmer’s car multiple times with the prongs of a teleporter causing him catastrophic injuries due to deceased man’s use of a crow banger.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart told the seven men and five women there will be two verdicts open to them – guilty of murder or not guilty of murder by reason of manslaughter.

Earlier in her charge, Ms Justice Stewart told the jury they must decide whether the accused had intention to kill or cause serious injury to Anthony O’Mahony.

She told them they must also factor in the plea of provocation by the defence; which she said was a sudden unforeseen onset of passion which for the moment totally deprives the accused of self-control.

This morning, in his closing address to the jury Senior Counsel for the Defence Brendan Grehan told the jury that provocation is subjective and said the jury would have to put itself into the mindset of Michael Ferris at the time of the incident.

Mr Grehan said it was the jury’s job to label Mr Ferris and what he did; is he a murderer or someone who snapped under extenuating circumstances?

Senior Counsel for the prosecution Patrick McGrath said there is no credible evidence to support the assertion that Mr Ferris just snapped that morning.

There was not a shred of remorse or regret that is consistent with someone who just lost it, he said.

Ms Justice Stewart told the jury to leave any sympathy or criticism aside in their deliberations.

The jury began their deliberations at 5 to 3 this afternoon and after one hour and six minutes were sent home for the evening by Ms Justice Stewart.

They will resume their deliberations in the morning.