THE public gallery at Oxford Crown Court was eerily empty as the four men charged with murder learned their fate this afternoon.

After hearing all the evidence in the case the jury - 10 men and two women - were sent out to begin their deliberations on Tuesday.

Almost exactly three days later they returned to deliver their final verdicts today.


After the verdicts had been given presiding Judge Ian Pringle QC - who sat through the case, turned to the jury and thanked them for their commitment to the trial, while also offering them a 'reward'.

He said: "Members of the jury it only remains for me to thank you all for the care and attention that you have given to this very demanding case over eight weeks.

"I suspect when you turned up here on September 2 you thought it would be all over in a fortnight, but it was not.

"I am going to make sure you all have a letter which you can take with you today which is going to save you from jury service for the next 10 years.

"Because of the amount of time and effort you put into this trial."

Prosecutor Paul Cavin QC also paid tribute to the court staff and thanked them for their assistance in the long-running trial.