'Body in plastic' murder jury discharged

·2-min read

The jury in the murder trial of a former couple accused of killing a young mother whose body was found wrapped in plastic floating in a creek has been discharged.

Newcastle Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson told the jury on Monday it had to be discharged after one of the jurors realised there was an issue last Thursday night which could have compromised the trial and contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Justin Kent Dilosa and his former partner Carol Marie McHenry had been due to stand trial after pleading not guilty to murdering Danielle Louise Easey on August 17, 2019, at Narara on the NSW Central Coast.

Ms Easey, 29, had allegedly been stabbed in the neck and back and beaten with a blunt object. Days later her body was taken to Cockle Creek near Killingworth and dumped in the water.

Justice Wilson on Monday agreed with an application by defence barristers for Dilosa and McHenry to discharge the jury and not proceed with only 11 jurors given the trial had yet to start.

The jury was empanelled last Thursday and jurors told to come back to court on Monday.

"These things can happen in criminal trials," the judge told the jury. "It's unavoidable. Unfortunately, we simply can't proceed."

Justice Wilson said it was most important that justice was seen to be done properly.

She had earlier told the court that because of COVID-19 there were long delays in Supreme Court trials taking place and the next available date for a new trial was August 1 next year in Newcastle and July 4 in Sydney.

Only people who are double vaxxed are allowed to sit on juries and they have to have a rapid antigen test confirming a negative result before being allowed to join the jury panel.

Dilosa and McHenry were remanded to appear for arraignment on December 10 when a new trial date would be set.

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