Butler murder trial - jury fails to reach verdict

TWO men accused of carrying out the contract killing of wheelclamper Charles Butler, could face a retrial after a jury failed to reach verdicts on Friday. Douglas Johnson, 29, and friend David Austin, 42, allegedly murdered the 50-year-old, who was shot o

TWO men accused of carrying out the contract killing of wheelclamper Charles Butler, could face a retrial after a jury failed to reach verdicts on Friday.

Douglas Johnson, 29, and friend David Austin, 42, allegedly murdered the 50-year-old, who was shot outside his home in Green Lane, Dagenham, on November 13, 2004.

He remained in a coma until he died on June 23, 2005.

CCTV cameras showed the killers' red Mazda driving up and down the road before Mr Butler returned at around midnight.


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As he parked his vehicle, a gunman approached and opened fire.

Johnson and Austin both denied murder.

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Following a seven-week trial at the Old Bailey the jury was deadlocked after more than 24 hours of deliberations.

Judge David Paget QC discharged the jury, telling them: "I think it is fruitless to ask you to continue."

The prosecution will decide next month whether or not to go ahead with a retrial.

Austin and Johnson, both of New Addington, Surrey, were remanded in custody.

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