Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hanslope pub stabbing murder trial collapses

The trial of the brother of a pub landlady accused of stabbing her partner has been stopped and the jury discharged at Luton Crown Court.

Bernardo Durantes, 35, denies murdering Jaime Ball, 29, in December at The Globe Inn in Hanslope, near Milton Keynes, where he lived with Mr Ball and his sister, landlady Emma Durantes.

Judge Richard Foster halted the case for legal reasons, ordering a retrial.

The new trial will begin in March 2012 at the latest.

Judge Foster stopped the trial after listening to legal arguments from the prosecution and the defence in the absence of the jury.

Calling the jury of eight men and four women back into court just before lunchtime, he told them that in the interests of justice he had decided the trial must stop.

He said the case would be heard again by another jury "at the earliest opportunity".

A date of 5 March 2012 was fixed for the retrial, but efforts will be made to see if the trial can be heard sooner - even if it means moving it to another court.

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