'Emotions Must Not Rue Verdict; Judge Advises Jury to Be Dispassionate

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

MURDER jurors must put aside their emotions in deciding whether Stephen Streener killed his lover, a judge said.

Streener is alleged to have strangled Jacqueline Grant then set her body on fire at his home, which he denies.

In his summing up in the murder trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Paul Sloan QC told the jury feelings and emotions must not come into their verdict.

The judge said it was natural members of the jury would have strong emotions about the case but said they must carry out a "measured, dispassionate review of the evidence".

Judge Sloan said: "A case such as this, involving a loss of human life, is bound to give rise to strong feelings and emotions because of the nature of allegation, which involves punches, strangulation with a cord then setting the body on fire to conceal the evidence.

"Such feelings and emotions are perfectly natural and normal but they don't assist you and must not play any part in your decision as to whether the allegation has been proven.

"You must put aside any feelings or emotions you may have an instead embark on a measured, dispassionate, review of the evidence.

"You must not let you emotions taint the decision."

Judge Sloan said there is no dispute Mrs Grant was murdered and said jurors had to decide whether prosecutors had proven beyond reasonable doubt Streener was the killer. …