Jury in trial of ex-Cork mayor to resume deliberations tomorrow

John Murray denies he sexually assaulted teenage girl in the 1990s

A jury will resume their deliberations tomorrow in the case of a former Lord Mayor of Cork accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a number of locations in the city in the 1990s.

The jury of seven men and five women trying the case of John Murray (83) spent two hours deliberating at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today before they raised a number of questions for trial judge, Judge Sean O Donnabhain.

Judge O Donnabhain said that he would answer their questions tomorrow and he sent them home for the evening, telling them to suspend their consideration of the case until they return to the Washington Street Courthouse tomorrow.

A retired taxi driver, Mr Murray (83) of Gregg Road in Cork has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sexually assaulting the girl while in her early teens at four locations in the city on various dates between March 1996 and October 1998.

On Wednesday Mr Murray took the witness box to deny the charges, saying that none of the assaults alleged by the young woman ever happened and he spoke of his shock and disgust when he discoverd what she alleged he had done to her.

"I read her statement and I was sick to my stomach when I read it," said Mr Murray, adding that none of what the young woman alleged ever happened and describing her allegations as "untrue" or "incorrect" when they were put to him by his counsel, Alice Fawsitt SC

A long standing member of the Labour Party in Cork, Mr Murray was first elected to Cork City Council in the 1985 local elections and re-elected in 1991 and two years later he was elected Lord Mayor of Cork under a pact between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.