The waiting has started. After a five day trial the jury in the Finn Colclough trial have begun their deliberations.
To a tense courtroom the two sides made their closing speeches. Prosecuting counsel Mary Ellen Ring told the jury that they should come back with a verdict of murder. She told them that Finn had a plan when he grabbed two knives from the kitchen in his home and ran outside screaming at Sean Nolan and his friends to “get the fuck away from my house”.
He could have dropped the knives, she said, when Sean came up to him demanding to know what he intended to do. He didn’t so the decision, even if made in a split second, had been made.
Patrick Gageby, for the defence, had a different take on things completely. The Nolan family shook their heads as he made his case that what had happened was an accident, provoked, at least in part by Sean’s foolhardy move.
As he made his speech Finn’s family listened intently. His older brother Sean resting his head on his hands in the public seats as his brother’s case was argued. Mr Gageby told the jury that the evidence they had heard from Dr Paul O’Connell showed that Finn had a condition that meant he had a particularly strong fear response. He said that what had happened was a young man acting irrationally, as some young men are wont to do, but that made a terrible accident, not a murder.
As Mr Justice Paul Carney summed up the evidence they had heard Charlotte, Sean’s mother, shook her head as she listened once again to the evidence given by Finn’s two young friends who had been there that night. When she heard her son described as aggressive and swearing when he asked for directions to the house of a girl called Saffy.
She looked at her husband Michael shaking her head and dipped her head towards him as he shook his head back. Then for the first time she heard the evidence of State Pathologist Marie Cassidy as that too was reviewed.
They’ve been out for almost two hours now and will be spending the night in a hotel so we’re back again tomorrow. For one family there will be bad news tomorrow whatever the verdict comes back. But in a trial like this there are only losers.