JURY DISCHARGED IN TRAGIC
DEATH CASE.
DATE FOR RETRIAL SET.

Helen Gavaghan, Bradford Crown Court. 9th August 2019.

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The jury in the case of night club bouncer, Mr Ciaran Spencer (born June 1994), was today discharged having failed to reach agreement on whether Mr Spencer was guilty of the manslaughter of Mr James Etherington (born January 1993). Events leading to the tragedy occured at the Bijou Nightclub in Bingley where Mr Spencer worked as a doorman. Mr Etherington died in early December 2017 some days after an altercation and struggle with Mr Spencer at the nightclub. The jury heard from those with responsibility for training people within the private security industry.

Mr Spencer had faced two counts: Manslaughter (involuntary) and gross negligence manslaughter. During the trial the defence in the absence of the jury sought to have the second count of gross negligence manslaughter dismissed. The trial judge, His Honour Judge Durham-Hall QC, ruled that the second count also should go before the jury. His honour instructed the jury before their retirement on matters of law. The prosecutor was Mr David Brook QC, and the defence counsel was Mr Richard Wright QC. In ordering the retrial the judge said he would like to see the same counsel in the retrial, which is scheduled to commence on 6th January, 2020.

At the close of evidence given by one prosecution witness the jury had passed a question to the judge, which the judge read out, and put to the witness on behalf of the jury without opposition from either counsel.

The jury deliberated for a little over 8 hours before concluding they would not be able to reach a conclusion. His honour said to the defendant and families, "All did their best." To the jury he said he thanked them, "...for their time keeping, co-operation and courtesy. Your role is finished. You have not let anyone down."

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