After three hours deliberation yesterday the Belfast Crown Court jury in the trial of 22-year-old Thomas Valliday — who denies murdering IRA veteran Francis ‘Bap' McGreevy — was sent home for the day.
But before suspending their deliberations, trial judge Mr Justice Hart agreed to replay all of the emergency 999 calls made by Valliday and a former girlfriend to the ambulance service.
While the tape recorded messages are being played, the jury will also be given written transcripts of each of them to allow them better to follow the emergency calls.
In addition, before they recommence their deliberation, the jury have also asked for the evidence of two witnesses to be re-read to them, which has also been agreed.
Earlier yesterday Mr Justice Hart had outlined the case both for and against Valliday in the death of the 51-year-old father-of-two who was found brutally beaten in his Ross Street flat in Belfast on February 15, 2008.
He died three days later in hospital.
Valliday, from nearby Lady Street, a self-confessed drug user, maintained throughout his 15-day trial that he had nothing to do with the savage attack on Mr McGreevy, a convicted IRA killer.
In concluding his charge to the jury, Mr Justice Hart said that the “defence case is three-fold”, that Valliday didn’t kill Mr McGreevy, or, if he did, he never intended to because of the drink and or drugs he'd taken, or he was not responsible for his death due to an abnormality of mind.
To this end, said the judge, the jury would have much to consider before reaching a verdict of acquittal, manslaughter or murder.