Jury sworn in to hear trial of Co Antrim woman accused of murder and attempted murder of children

Judge warns jurors not to conduct internet or social media research or discuss case with anyone outside of fellow jurors

A jury was sworn in on Monday to hear the trial of a Co Antrim woman accused of the murder and attempted murder of her two young children.

The Crown Court jury of six men and six women were told the trial relates to allegations that on March 2nd, 2020, the 41-year-old former nurse murdered her two-and-a-half-year-old son and tried to murder her other son who was 11 months.

The woman, who cannot be identified to protect the youngest victim, as well as her other children, denies the charges of murder and attempted murder.

Swearing in the jury, trial Judge Patricia Smyth said the case would last around four weeks and stressed to jury members that although she was aware that “you have a million things to do and places to be…you are the most important feature of the criminal justice system”.

“You probably don’t feel like that yet but you will do by the end of this trial,” she told them, adding: “It is you who decide the facts of this case and it is you who ultimately decide what the verdict should be.”

Having been sworn in, Judge Smyth released them for the day as they will not begin to hear evidence until Tuesday but she warned them not to conduct any internet or social media research of their own and not to discuss the case with anyone outside of their fellow jurors.

“The truth is that in England primarily, some jurors disobeyed those instructions and there have been prison sentence imposed,” said the judge.