Jury retires for evening without verdict in case of woman accused of neglect and cruelty to eight children

The woman faces over 40 charges in the west of Ireland

Jury retires for evening without verdict in case of woman accused of neglect and cruelty to eight children

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The jury in the trial of a woman accused of neglect and cruelty to her children has retired for the evening without reaching a verdict.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her children's identities, is facing over 40 charges at various addresses in the west between 2006 and 2011.

During this trial, one of the woman's sons gave evidence of his mother laughing after pushing him down the stairs, while her daughter claimed she showed her how to cut herself properly when she found out she was self-harming.

During the five years before they were taken into care in May 2011, there were also allegations of children being beaten and abandoned for days.

The court heard the woman accepts using fairy liquid to wash some of their mouths out if they used a bad word, but denied using excessive force.

She claims her children are not telling the truth, and that she only ever used "reasonable chastisement" when disciplining her children - a defence that no longer exists, but did apply at the time of the alleged offences.

Judge Karen O'Connor told the jurors they would have to consider that in relation to the some of the allegations, and she asked them to approach the evidence in a "cold and dispassionate manner" before sending them out to begin their deliberations.