Friday, 6 December 2013
Off-Topic: Brian Farmer Murder Trial, Day 16
Mr. Denellen spent another 90 minutes trying to rescue Vaughan Davies' credibility as a witness. Effectively he was repeating what he said yesterday, in order to convince the jury to believe his account that Brian was not yet fatally injured on May 7th 2012.
After this the judge instructed the jury on the legal guidelines they have to follow in making their judgement. They were handed a 24-page document, but he summed up the most important general facts. To be guilty of murder a person has to strike a blow that is either intended to kill a person or cause him severe damage. In this case there is no single cause of death, but according to the pathologist three factors contributed to Brian's death: stab wounds, blows to the rib cage and heavy blows to the head. For each defendant the jury has to decide if they think he carried out one of these three. If he did he is guilty of murder. If not, if he carried out minor attacks on Brian, such as punching him, at the same time that someone else was committing one of the major attacks, he is guilty of murder. If not, if he positively encouraged a person who was committing one of the major attacks, he is guilty of murder.
If none of these apply, it has to be asked if the defendant attacked Brian in a different incident in a way that was not intended to kill or severely harm him, but could have inadvertently caused his death. In this case the person is guilty of manslaughter.
If this is not the case it has to be asked if the defendant struck Brian in a non-life-threatening manner. In this case he is guilty of Actual Bodily Harm.
The three verdicts, murder, manslaughter and ABH are mutually exclusive. Each of the defendants can only be guilty of one of them.
On Monday the judge will speak in more detail to the jury.