The judge in the trial of Stephen Silver for the capital murder of detective in Roscommon two years ago has informed the jury that they may return verdicts of capital murder, murder or manslaughter.
The Foxford bike mechanic has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Colm Horkan in Castlerea on the 17th of June 2020, but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, with the trial taking place over the last 6 weeks in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
''You are the judges of fact in this case, you are the decision makers;' the opening statement of Mr Justice Paul McDermott as he began Jury instructions this morning in the trial of Stephen Silver for the murder of Detective Horkan in Roscommon. The trial judge described capital murder as an 'aggravated murder', one done with the knowledge that Colm Horkan was a member of An Garda Siochána, or that the accused was reckless towards the risk that he was a member. Mr Justice McDermott reminded the jury of the importance of their decision and how Mr Silver cannot be found guilty of capital murder or murder should they hold a reasonable doubt. A verdict of murder, according to the judge can be returned if an intention to cause the death or the serious harm of detective Horkan can be proved by the prosecution.
He described the incident as a 'shocking case, that can give ride to feelings of prejudice' but that any decision must 'be based on evidence, not feelings or emotions.'
Describing how the jury can reach a certainty beyond such a doubt, Mr Justice McDermott described it as not being 'a mathematical certainty', but something that is the highest that can be determined in human affairs.
The judges charge continues this afternoon.