AG trial jury discharged after failing to reach verdict

The trial of the Attorney General, Stephen Harding

The trial of the Attorney General, Stephen Harding

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The jury in the trial of Attorney General Stephen Harding has been discharged after failing to reach a unanimous verdict.

Mr Harding, 52, of Glen Vine, denies charges of perjury and committing acts against public justice.

He has been bailed, pending a decision on whether he should face a retrial.

The seven-member jury retired to consider its verdict just after 1pm on Wednesday.

But at about 3.30pm today (Friday) after some 10 and a half hours of deliberations they returned to court to confirm that they had not reached a decision and there was no realistic prospect of doing so if they returned to court on Monday.

Acting Deemster Birkett reminded the jurors that on the island there is no such thing as a majority verdict, and there has to be unanimity.

‘This is not the first time this has occurred on the island and it will not be the last,’ he said.

‘You must not feel in any way that you have failed by your having been unable to reach a verdict.’

The Crown alleged that Mr Harding misled a court at a winding-up hearing, and then lied on oath to cover his tracks at a subsequent Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

Mr Harding was the government advocate representing Treasury at the winding-up hearing of Peel-based Street Heritage Limited, which took place on February 24, 2010.

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