THE Glynis Solmaz murder trial jury members were sent home last night and will return to consider their verdicts today.
The jury had spent four hours considering the Wrexham case yesterday afternoon after the judge summed the case in the morning.
Mr Justice Griffith-Williams, sitting at Mold Crown Court, told the jury to set aside feelings of emotion and concentrate on the evidence in the case.
At the start of his summing up he said while the circumstances of the death of Mrs Solmaz as the victim of violence in her home would excite sympathy or pity, “you must not allow yourselves to be influenced by such feelings”.
The jury should consider the evidence objectively and dispassionately and, above all, apply common sense.
Alexandros Wetherill, 24, of Plas Gwyn, Wrexham and Christopher Curran, 34, of Broom Avenue, Brymbo, both deny murdering Mrs Solmaz last February but Wetherill admits manslaughter.
Both have – together with Mrs Solmaz’ former son-in-law Christopher Natt, 52, of North Road, Ponciau and David Lovell, 29, of Bloom Avenue, Brymbo – pleaded guilty to conspiring to burgle her home.
It is alleged Natt told them there was £40,000 in the safe and Curran recruited Wetherill to commit the burglary after asking two others to do it first.
Wetherill, in restraining Mrs Solmaz, has accepted he caused her death but said that was not his intention.
Curran said he had no idea he would confront Mrs Solmaz and it was their intention to break into the property when she was not at home.
The safe contained £10,000 and Mrs Solmaz’s body was found slumped in the bedroom two days later. She had been choked to death.
The judge said Mrs Solmaz was a slightly built 65-year-old lady who lived alone at Bryn Hafod, Caia Park.
Her body was found on the floor in a confined space between the bed and the window in the spare bedroom on the morning of Wednesday, February 20.
“There is no issue that she was killed during the commission of a burglary at her home,” said the judge.
She had bruising and abrasions to the outer skin and bruising and injuries deep within the processes of the neck. There was a fracture and bleeding around the bone and cartilage in the neck.
The pathologist’s opinion was that the cause of her death was forceful compression of the neck, leading to asphyxiation.
The prosecution alleged the defendants were party to a joint enterprise.
The essence of joint responsibility was that each defendant shared the intention to cause really serious injury or, in the case of Curran, that he knew or foresaw that if Wetherill confronted Mrs Solmaz, he might assault her with the intention of causing really serious injury, yet he continued to take part in the burglary.
Mere presence when a crime was committed and a failure to stop a crime were of themselves insufficient to prove guilt, the judge explained.
But if Curran stood by when Wetherill was forcefully compressing Mrs Solmaz’s neck, or obstructing her airways so as to cause asphyxia from which she died, intending to encourage and by his presence encouraging Wetherill to carry out the assault, he became a participant in the unlawful assault upon her.
It mattered not that it was not his acts which caused the death of Mrs Solmaz.
Wetherill admitted manslaughter – the unlawful killing of her without the intention to kill or to cause really serious injury. The only issue in his case was whether the prosecution had proved that at the time of the assault, he intended to cause her really serious injury.
If the jury was not sure he had that intention, then they would clear him of murder and they would also acquit Curran of murder.
Curran could only be guilty of murder or manslaughter if the jury was sure first that he was a participant in the unlawful assault on Mrs Solmaz.
The prosecution put the case on alternative bases.
It alleged the defendants must have known the risk of her being at home or that she migh return.
Wetherill had called at the house the day before and found her home even though the bathroom window was open and her car was not outside.
To commit a burglary in those circumstances inevitably involved the risk that force, sufficient to complete the burglary and to prevent the occupier identifying the burglars, may have to be used, the prosecution alleged.
It claimed that Curran, acting as a lookout, must have known or at least foreseen the possibility that Wetherill may use unlawful force if he was disturbed.
With that knowledge or foresight, he became a participant in the unlawful assault when it took place and it mattered not that he was outside the house.
It was the prosecution case that if the jury was not sure he had that knowledge or foresight, then he became a participant in the unlawful assault when he entered the back bedroom and saw the unconscious Mrs Solmaz being held down by Wetherill and then took part in the burglary while Wetherill continued to hold her down.
If they were not sure he was a participant in the assault in either of those two ways he would be cleared of both murder and manslaughter.
“But if you are sure he was a participant in one of those two ways there is no issue that he will be guilty of manslaughter as I have defined it,” the judge told them.