Jury deliberates Winefield's fate

THE jury at the murder trial in Coffs Harbour spent three hours yesterday presiding over the fate of the accused Mitchell Anthony Winefield.

The 12-member panel left the courtroom to begin deliberations at 1pm.

Almost an hour and a half later, jurors returned to the courtroom to ask a question of law of NSW Supreme Court Judge Justice Elizabeth Fullerton.

Winefield, 45, is charged with the murder of teenager Caleb Jarrett, 18, who was fatally stabbed in Mann St, Nambucca Heads, on February 14, 2009.

Earlier in the day, Justice Fullerton completed her summation of the evidence and testimony heard in the court during the past 15 days.

Justice Fullerton has explained the jury must consider three elements.

“Whether the deliberate act of the accused caused the death of the deceased, whether the accused held the intent to kill the deceased and if the accused acted in self-defence,” Justice Fullerton said.

“If you come to consider self-defence ... it is for the Crown to have persuaded you the accused was not acting in self-defence.”

If the jury finds Winefield not guilty of murder, they must then consider a charge of manslaughter, considering if the accused caused the death of the deceased and were his actions unlawful or dangerous.

The alleged stabbing happened outside Winefield's Mann St home about 11.45pm.

Caleb Jarrett had been walking up the street with a group of friends, as Winefield reversed a vehicle out of a driveway to the front of his house. Moments earlier, Winefield had left his home after a fight with his partner.

The court has heard Caleb swung his hand at the four-wheel-drive from the footpath and yelled at Winefield and a fight ensued.

On the stand, the accused denied owning the knife.

The jury will continue its deliberations today.

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