4 Sep 2015

Bottle stabbing jury discharged

6:03 pm on 4 September 2015

The jurors deciding the case of a 17-year-old accused of stabbing another in the neck with a broken beer bottle during a Grey Lynn street fight have been discharged after failing to reach a verdict.

Luke Tipene

Luke Tipene Photo: FACEBOOK

Vincent Angene Skeen, also 17, denies murdering the promising young rugby league player Luke Tipene when a Halloween party broke up on Great North Road last year.

The jurors took 13 hours over two days and returned twice to court today to say they were struggling.

Minutes before 5pm, they came back a third time to say they were firm in their positions and could not agree.

There was a sigh from the packed public gallery as Justice Woolford discharged them.

Some supporters wept and others left early.

Justice Woolford thanked the jurors for their time and the work they had done.

He remanded Mr Skeen in custody.

The teenager is due back in court in two weeks' time where it is expected a new trial date will be set.

Outside court Luke Tipene's uncle Sean Wilson said the family were frustrated but still had faith in the system.

He thanked family and friends for their support, which has been visible throughout the trial with many wearing sweatshirts bearing Luke Tipene's name, his birth and death date.

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