The jury in the trial of a teenager accused of murder following the fatal assault of a man at a petrol station in County Durham has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict.
Thomas Mallaby, 40, was injured following a 'trivial' argument on the forecourt of an Esso garage in Annfield Plain on 26 September last year.
He died in hospital two days later.
A 16-year-old boy, who was 15 at the time, denied murdering Mr Mallaby, but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Judge Howard Crowson discharged the Teesside Crown Court jury on Thursday (14 April) after it deliberated for seven hours but was unable to reach a verdict.
He had previously told jurors they must be sure the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had intended to cause 'at least really serious bodily injury' to Mr Mallaby in order to convict him of murder.
The case was adjourned until 28 April.