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Manning Trial: No Verdict
After more than 12 years and three trials, the family of murdered Milton Keynes teenager Rachel Manning are still waiting for justice.
A jury have failed to reach a verdict in the latest trial connected to the death of the 19 year old shop assistant (right), who went missing after a fancy dress party in Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes, in December 2000.
She was strangled after making a late night phone call from a public phone box in Milton Keynes. Her body was found two days later in undergrowth on Woburn Golf Course. It is also alleged that her corpse was disfigured with a car steering lock.
After 24 hours and 20 minutes of deliberations, on Monday 18 February 2013, a jury at Luton Crown Court failed to reach a verdict against restaurant worker Ahmed Shahidul.
The prosecution told Mr Justice Wilkie that they will be seeking a retrial. It was the third time that Rachel's parents had sat through a trial.
Mr Shahidul, a 41 year old married father of five from Bletchley, Milton Keynes, was the second person to stand trial accused of murdering the 19 year old in the early hours of 10 December 2000. He denies murder.
On 18 February 2013, the jury of seven women and five men were discharged by the judge after the foreman told him that he did not believe there was a realistic chance of them reaching a majority verdict of ten to two if they were given more time.
Det Ch Supt Rob Mason, Senior Investigating Officer in the case said: “Obviously we are disappointed that the jury has been unable to return a verdict in this trial.
"Our thoughts are with Rachel’s family who have remained dignified and courageous throughout despite the unimaginable nightmare they have endured over the last twelve years. I am extremely sorry that they have been put through this ordeal once again.
"It is our intention and that of CPS with the support of Rachel's family there will be a retrial in this case."
Rachel’s family have released a short statement, which reads: “We would like to thank the people who have aided this trial and hope that justice can be served in the future.”
When detectives investigated Rachel's death, they arrested her boyfriend, Barri White, and in 2002 he was found guilty of the murder, despite protesting his innocence.
His conviction was later overturned in the Court of Appeal and, six years into his life sentence for her murder, a retrial was ordered and he was acquitted.
One of the attackers is believed to have had a saw.
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Seven mountain rescue teams and a dog search team are now involved in trying to find the missing helicopter from Milton Keynes.
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