A JURY in the trial of a 16-year-old accused of murdering Nissan worker David Charlton has been discharged.
The youth, who cannot be named, is accused of taking part in a joint attack on the 25-year-old last December.
Mr Charlton died as a result of eight stab wounds.
The youth, who was just 15 at the time of the killing, denies murder and has been tried by a jury during a two-week case at Newcastle Crown Court. He claims it was the couple who attacked him that night.
Jurors spent over an hour deliberating on Thursday and resumed their discussions yesterday.
The panel sent two written notes to Judge John Milford QC, saying they were split and unable to reach a unanimous decision. Even after the judge said a majority verdict of 10-2 could be accepted, the jury said it was deadlocked.
Judge Milford discharged the jury and the case will be back in court on Monday.
Keith Honeyman, 20, of Alice Street, South Shields, has pleaded guilty to murder.
Paul Carr, 31, of Hudson Street, South Shields, has admitted assisting an offender.
They will be sentenced later.