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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Stone jury sent home
Michael Stone
Michael Stone denies murdering Lin and Megan Russell
The jury in the Michael Stone trial has been sent home for the night after failing to reach a verdict.

Jurors will return to Nottingham Crown Court at 1000 BST on Thursday for a second day of deliberations.

They retired on Wednesday after being told not to draw any inference of guilt from Mr Stone's decision not to give evidence.

Mr Stone, 41, denies murdering Dr Lin Russell, 45, and daughter Megan, aged six, and attempting to murder Josie Russell on 9 July 1996 on a country lane near Chillenden, Kent.


He is entitled to sit in the dock and require the prosecution to prove their case

Mr Justice Poole

Summing up, Mr Justice Poole said the jury must ignore the feeling that "someone must be made to pay".

Mr Justice Poole told the jury: "Wouldn't you think in broad daylight in midsummer in the garden of England, as the county of Kent is known, a mother and her two young daughters could make their way home in safety a mile or two across fields.

"Instead they were brutally beaten, in the case of two of them they were deprived of life and in the case of Josie left for dead.

"It is difficult to pick a crime that could arouse such strong feelings of revulsion and pity.

Prisoner's evidence

"I have to direct you, as a jury that feelings, including the feeling that someone must be made to pay, is something that in your role as jurors you cannot for a moment indulge or entertain."

Mr Justice Poole told the jury to treat with care evidence given by Damian Daley, a prisoner who said a man in an adjoining cell, alleged by the Crown to be Mr Stone, confessed to the killings.

Lin and Megan Russell
Lin and Megan Russell were brutally beaten to death
During his evidence, Daley admitted that on occasions he told lies.

The prosecution has conceded that its case rests on his evidence.

The judge said: "The case stands or falls on the alleged confession of Damian Daley."

Mr Justice Poole told the jury that it needed to decide whether they could rely on Daley's confession.

He said: "First, did the defendant make the confession? If you are not sure you must ignore it.

Prosecution case

"If you are sure he made the confession you must also consider whether you think the confession is true?"

Mr Stone was not called to give evidence by the defence and the judge said this decision should not imply guilt.

He said: "He is entitled to sit in the dock and require the prosecution to prove their case.

"You must not presume his guilt because he doesn't give evidence, it should not be held against him."

See also:

27 Sep 01 | England
25 Sep 01 | England
24 Sep 01 | England
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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