Lucas Irvine death: Jury fails to reach verdict on couple

A jury has been discharged in the trial of a couple over the death of a baby.

Lucas Irvine, aged four months, of Lancaster, was taken to hospital with a bleed to the brain in November 2010 and died four days later.

A post-mortem test showed Lucas died from "non-accidental head and spinal injury" and his brain was "massively swollen", consistent with shaking.

Lucas's mother Karen Irvine and her ex boyfriend Christopher Roberts were told they would face a probable retrial.

Insufficient evidence

After more than 14 hours of deliberation at Preston Crown Court, the jury failed to reach verdicts on an allegation of manslaughter against Lucas's 19-year-old mother and of causing or allowing the death of a child.

The jury also failed to reach a verdict on a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child against Ms Irvine's then boyfriend Mr Roberts, 19.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Swift had earlier ordered the jury to return not guilty verdicts against both defendants on charges of murder, and of manslaughter against Mr Roberts, after the Crown conceded there was insufficient evidence.

Ms Irvine, of Gerrard Street, Lancaster, and Mr Roberts, of Garth Lane, Knighton, Powys, who deny all the allegations, were granted bail as they were told they would face a probable retrial on the outstanding allegations in November.

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