|Gordon Jackson QC|
One of the most interesting, and controversial rulings during the trial of Neil McKenzie and Trevor Muirhead was the decision taken by the presiding judge, Lord Turnbull to direct the Crown to remove the charge of conspiracy to murder from the indictment. As the decision in court happened without the jury present we could not report the reasoning behind that decision, however now that the jury has delivered a Guilty verdict we can.
On Wednesday, at the conclusion of the Advocate Depute's closing speech, Gordon Jackson QC, defending Mr Muirhead, asked the judge if he could discuss a legal matter in the absence of the jury. Jury members left the court and Mr Jackson then put forward his argument that the Crown had put forward no proper evidence of intent to commit murder in it's closing argument.
Mr Jackson pointed out that in Scottish law Murder is defined as to "wickedly kill" which means that the act must be intentional, adding that intent to kill had to consist of more than a "pious hope" that someone would lose their life.