The jury in the trial of Stephen Silver, who is accused of murdering Garda Colm Horkan, has been discharged and a new panel is expected to be sworn in at the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Silver (46), a motorbike mechanic from Aughavard, Foxford, Co Mayo had pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Garda Horkan (49) knowing or being reckless as to whether he was a member of An Garda Síochána acting in accordance with his duty at Castlerea, Co Roscommon on June 17th, 2020. He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
A jury of six men and six women was sworn in on Monday of this week and the case was opened by the prosecution on Tuesday.
However, when the jury returned to court on Wednesday morning to continue hearing evidence, a note was handed up to the judge to say that one of the jurors had a difficulty serving.
Discharging the jury, Ms Justice Tara Burns said it was very unfortunate that this matter had arisen and if they proceeded with 11 jurors it would be on a “very thin basis”. “In light of the difficulty that juror has, I decided I would discharge that juror,” she added.
The judge said both the prosecution and defence legal teams took instructions and found it was “not the best course of action” to proceed with 11 jurors so she would discharge all 12 of them from serving.
She told the 12 jurors that the case would start again but that they would have to get another jury panel.
A new jury is expected to be sworn in for Mr Silver’s trial on Wednesday afternoon.