Desmond Duffy found not guilty of the murder of his partner Desmond Sullivan

Pensioner Desmond Duffy walked free from court this evening after being found not guilty of murdering his partner Desmond ‘Dessie’ Sullivan.

Mr Duffy (70) cried quietly and whispered “thank you” as the jury of six men and six women left the courtroom having spent seven hours and eleven minutes considering their verdict following a nine-day trial.

Mr Duffy said from the outset that he was acting in self-defence after his often abusive and violent partner of 36 years attacked him in the kitchen of their home.

At 4.46pm the jury returned with their verdict.

Justice Paul McDermott thanked them and exempted them from further jury duty for ten years. He then turned to Mr Duffy and told him he was discharged. Mr Duffy turned to his legal counsel and asked: “Can I go?” Outside court his supporters hugged him as he prepared to return home.

Mr Sullivan’s family declined an invitation to comment.

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