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13.39 6 Oct 2017


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The jury has begun its deliberations in the trial of a Westmeath man accused of murdering the mother of his two children.

Danny Keena from Empor in Ballynacargy admits strangling Brigid Maguire during an argument in 2015 - but claims he lost control after being provoked.

Before sending them out to consider whether Danny Keena intended to kill or cause serious harm to Brigid Maguire, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the jurors that intention can be formed in an instant.

He said it didn't require the detailed planning of a gangland hit.

He went on to say there was no room for sympathy or prejudice in their deliberations and he told them the fact he is sorry is of no relevance.

Yesterday, Mr Keena’s teenage son described his father as a bully who would often threaten to kill his mother when they lived together.

Ms Maguire moved out with their children in September 2015. The accused admits killing her two months later, but claims he just lost control and started choking her when she told him he was a bad father.

The jurors will have to decide whether his defence of provocation holds water or whether he knew what he was doing and intended to take her life that evening.

An acquittal is not an option for them.


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