Jury still out in case of teenager charged with murder of Urantsetseg Tserendorj
The jury in the trial of a 16-year-old boy charged with the murder of Mongolian national Urantsetseg Tserendorj will continue their deliberations for a third day on Thursday.
As part of their deliberations, the jury of six men and six women requested transcripts of evidence heard during the trial at the Central Criminal Court, as well as the closing statements of the prosecution and the defence, and the judge’s directions.
The transcripts of the evidence they requested were that of Ms Tserendorj’s husband, Ulambayer Surenkhor, and that of Ms Tayo Odelade, who the accused attempted to rob on the same night he stabbed Ms Tserendorj.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt on Wednesday informed the jury that transcripts of the evidence and the closing statements would be given to them, but a transcript of his own directions was not yet available.
He said he would give a verbal recapitulation of his directions and the written transcript would be provided later.
He told the jury that there were two routes they could take to reaching a guilty verdict on the charge of murder. The first of these was if they decided that the accused had the intention of killing or causing serious injury.
He said that the prosecution case was that the accused had aggressively assaulted Ms Tserendorj by striking at her twice with the knife, connecting with her once.
The prosecution said that Ms Tserendorj told the accused she had no money, and he made no attempt to take money from her.
The second route to a guilty verdict was if they felt it had been established that the act of the accused was one that had either death or serious injury as a probable consequence.
Mr Justice Hunt said that a verdict of manslaughter was appropriate if the jury felt the prosecution had not proved that the accused had intended to cause death or serious injury.
He said that the defence’s case was that the accused had used the knife to obtain money for drugs and the knife entered Ms Tserendorj’s neck as a result of an accident.
He said that the defence disputed the evidence of Mr Surenkhor, who had given evidence of what his wife had told him.
The witness said that Ms Tserendorj told him that the accused asked for money, and when she said she did not have any money the accused stabbed her immediately.
Mr Justice Hunt said that defence disputed this evidence on the basis of CCTV footage of the attack, as the accused’s barrister, Michael O’Higgins SC, had contended the altercation involved “pushing and shoving and flailing” before the knife accidentally went into the victim’s neck.
Mr Justice Hunt said the jury should return a verdict of guilty to manslaughter if they felt the accused’s actions did not encompass death or serious injury; if they felt that no intention to kill or cause serious injury was present due to the accused’s age or the fact that he panicked and was intoxicated; or if they felt that intention was found, but it was confined to less than serious injury and did not extend to death.
“If any of these options are open to you then you should return a verdict of guilty to manslaughter and not murder,” said Mr Justice Hunt.
Ms Tserendorj was stabbed in the neck on a walkway between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin on January 20th, 2021.
The accused, who cannot be named as he is a minor, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on January 29th, 2021.
He also pleaded guilty to producing a knife and to attempting to rob Ms Tserendorj on January 20th, 2021.
The jury will recommence their deliberations tomorrow.