Northern Ireland

Jason McGovern: Jury discharged in 'one punch' manslaughter case

Jason McGovern Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Jason McGovern died after being attacked during a night out in Omagh

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the retrial of a County Tyrone man accused of killing 19-year-old Jason McGovern of Tydavnet, County Monaghan.

Mr McGovern died after being attacked on a night out in Omagh, County Tyrone, on New Year's Eve in 2012.

Mark Donnelly, 23, from Greencastle had pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

He now faces trial for a fourth time after two juries could not agree and a third trial was aborted for legal reasons.

The jury indicated to Dungannon crown court on Friday that they were unable to reach a majority verdict after more than four hours of deliberation.

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Media captionMark Donnelly left Dungannon Crown Court on Friday after the two week trial

The judge commended the jurors for the careful attention they had paid throughout the trial and the dutiful way they had made efforts to reach a verdict.

The prosecution claimed Mark Donnelly, of Greencastle Road, Omagh, threw the punch that knocked Mr McGovern to the ground.

The teenager had suffered a fractured skull and was found dead at a friend's house later that day.

Mark Donnelly claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity.

He will return to court on June 19 when he will find out if the Public Prosecution Service will seek another retrial.

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