Deadlock in trial of manager linked to road death

Joe Keenan

A JURY has been unable to reach a verdict in the retrial of case of an Enniskillen man causing death by careless driving. After a combined total of six-and-half hours deliberating over the course of two days, the result was a hung jury.
The accused, Joseph Keenan of Lawnkilla Park, Enniskillen, who denies the charge, went on trial for the second time last week. His first trial ended earlier this year with the jury likewise unable the reach a verdict.
He was charged with causing the death of Brian Bernard Peter Lynch by careless driving, in the process of an overtaking manoeuvre, which allegedly took place on 15 November 2014, at the A5 Belfast Road, Enniskillen.
Father of four, Mr Lynch was riding his Kawasaki ZX1200 motorcycle which was in collision with a Vauxhall Vectra, driven by Keenan.
The court heard both vehicles were travelling to Enniskillen shortly before 5pm that day, with the victim positioned behind the defendant’s car.
Keenan, a football manager, was returning from a match in Maguiresbridge with three passengers.
He encountered a slow-moving vehicle and waited until he believed an appropriate time to overtake.
It is the prosecution case when Keenan pulled out, the collision occurred with the victim’s motorcycle involving contact with a rear passenger door.
Mr Lynch was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the Royal Victoria Hospital five days later.
After the prosecution completed its case last Friday, defence counsel advised he would not be calling Keenan to give evidence, and confirmed advice had been given that inference may be drawn from this.
Following deliberations on Monday and Tuesday morning, Judge Stephen Fowler QC advised a majority verdict of 10-2 or more would be acceptable. But at 3pm the jury sent a note to say they were deadlocked.
Judge Fowler recalled the jury and said, “I am told you have been unable to reach a verdict and that no additional time will not assist in coming to a majority decision. It is very clear you have listened to the evidence and I am satisfied you have been diligent in your considerations.”
The jury was discharged and Judge Fowler remanded Keenan on continuing bail until next week while prosecution seek instructions on whether or not there will be third trial.



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