Drama as murder trial jury discharged

First published in News

A JUDGE has dramatically discharged the jury in the Kelly Davies murder trial after they failed to reach a verdict.

The jury had spent two weeks listening to evidence in the trial of Ms Davies’ former partner, Joseph Davies, who was accused of stabbing her to death in her flat in Queen Street, Farnworth, in June last year.

He was then said to have visited the continent, where he was hit by a train in The Netherlands and part of his leg had to be amputated.

Davies had denied the charges and yesterday the jury at Manchester Crown Court spent six hours and 24 minutes considering the murder charge against 36-year-old Davies, but were unable to reach a majority verdict.

The Honorary Recorder of Manchester Judge Andrew Gilbart QC asked the foreman of the jury whether, if allowed extra time to deliberate on Monday, they would be able to reach a verdict.

“Unfortunately not,” the foreman replied.

Judge Gilbart then thanked them and discharged them from their duty. A hearing will take place on Wednesday at Manchester Crown Court to decide if or when there is to be a retrial.

During the trial the jury had heard evidence that Ms Davies, who was attempting to overcome a drug habit, was found dead on the living room sofa of her flat on June 4 by a friend.

The court was told Ms Davies’s five-year-old daughter was standing nearby clutching a doll and, according to the prosecution, the 31-year-old mum had been dead for two days after being stabbed 22 times in the head and shoulder.

Joseph Davies, who she had known for 17 years and was the father of her three children, had been released from Haverigg prison on June 1 and made his way back to Bolton, visiting Ms Davies at her flat.

The court heard they both were drinking and had taken tablets but argued on the Friday evening with Davies accusing his former partner of seeing other men while he was inside prison.

The following day the pair went to a takeaway for some food and bought alcohol before returning to Ms Davies’s flat, then, at 11.27pm, Davies was seen getting a taxi from Farnworth to Manchester Airport where he unsuccessfully tried to get a seat on a flight to Europe.

He then paid a taxi driver o take him to London, where he boarded a Eurostar train to Lille in France.

Davies took no luggage with him, telling the court that, when he realised there was no future in his relationship with Ms Davies, he made a spontaneous decision to go travelling.

The court heard Davies’s blood was found in one spot on Ms Davies’ sofa, but that may have come from a cut he had received to his eye on Friday night.

Forensic pathologist Naomi Carter also told the court that, using tables to estimate Ms Davies’ death, there was a 95 percent chance that she died between 2.30pm on June 3 and 4.30pm on June 4.

This was after Davies had left the Farnworth area, although Ms Carter said the tables provided nothing more than an estimate and it was her impression that Kelly Davies had been dead for longer

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