James Brindley: Jury sent out to consider verdict
The jury has been sent out to consider its verdict in the James Brindley murder trial.
Mr Brindley, 26, died after being stabbed as he walked home in Aldridge on June 23.
Aaron Kahrod, 21, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, both deny Mr Brindley's murder.
Kahrod, of Walsall Road, Aldridge, and the teenager have been on trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Judge Patrick Thomas QC summed up the case today (weds) with the jury sent out just before 3pm.
He recalled key evidence in the two-week trial, particularly the defendants' own statements.
Judge Thomas directed the jury to 'never forget' that one of the defendants was just 17 years old, had never been in trouble with the police before and was in custody facing a charge of murder.
The teenager has been accused by the prosecution of changing his defence statements to fit new prosecution evidence, something he denies – insisting he acted out of panic and 'pure fear'.
Judge Thomas said the youth had a number of GCSEs but the jury had had long enough to make their own assessment of his intelligence.
The judge added that they must decide how much weight to give Kahrod's refusal to take the stand during the trial.
"If you are sure the prosecution case is of such strength that it calls for an answer, and that he did not have an answer that would stand up to cross-examination, you are entitled to draw inference from that as providing support for the prosecution case.
"But you cannot convict him wholly on that," said Judge Thomas.