Attempted murder trial: Jury starts deliberations

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THE jury in the trial of an alleged attempted murderer has retired to consider its verdict.

Gerard Eamon Maguire (49) is accused of trying to kill his friend Shaun Patrick Howard (63) by stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife. The alleged offence took place at Mr Howard's home in Journeaux Court in the early hours of Sunday 30 October.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Maguire plunged the blade into his friend's neck after an argument had started when the victim asked him to leave. Doctors described the injuries Mr Howard sustained during the incident as life threatening.

The defence say Mr Howard was the aggressor. It is Mr Maguire's defence that he had innocently picked up the knife to pack into a bag when a struggle ensued between him and Mr Howard. He claims Mr Howard inadvertently stabbed himself in the neck during that struggle.

It is agreed that the pair were close friends and had been drinking together on the day in question.

Mr Maguire denies attempted murder, grave and criminal assault and perverting the court of justice.

Outing the legal points to the jury of six men and six women, Commissioner Sir Michael Birt said the first two counts are 'alternative' and the defendant cannot be guilty of both.

Count three is separate, so even if the jury acquit Mr Maguire of counts one and two they can find him guilty of perverting the course of justice. That count relates to Mr Maguire washing the clothes that he had been wearing on the night of the alleged incident.

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