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Judge's warning for Lawrence jury

Jurors in the trial of two men accused of the murder of Stephen Lawrence have been warned not to let emotion influence their deliberations.

Mr Justice Treacy told the panel at the Old Bailey that they must weigh up the evidence in the case without letting anger or sympathy play a part in the verdict.

He told the jurors that they must be "sure" of any verdict they come to, and warned them that it would be unrealistic to expect every loose end to be tied up.

"It's not necessary for every question raised in a case to be answered or for every loose end to be tied up. This is real life, it's not a detective novel," they were told.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, both deny murder.

During his summing-up, the judge set out key steps that jurors will need to follow in their route to a verdict.

These included considering whether forensic evidence found on clothes seized from Dobson and Norris's homes got there via contamination during handling and storage, as the defence argues.

The panel must also consider whether the defendants were present at the time of the attack and participated in it. If at least one member of the group intended to kill or cause serious harm to Mr Lawrence, then the attackers would be guilty of murder, the judge said.

But if they intended to cause injury falling short of serious bodily harm, then the group would be guilty of manslaughter.

The trial was later adjourned until Thursday, when the judge will continue summing up.


From Belfast Telegraph