A juror in the trial of murder suspect Julian Felisi fell ill this afternoon forcing the court to adjourn for the day.

Defence barrister Nicholas Rhodes was little more than one hour into his closing speech before a short break, during which one of the jurors reportedly felt unwell.

Mr Rhodes began the morning by telling the the jury they needed to put themselves in the shoes of the defendant and look at the case objectively.

He said: “Given the events of that morning on February 24, given the defendant's proximity to the events, given his position – he had blood on his hands and knew nothing about the two Irishmen who killed Mr Bennett – on whom would the focus of the investigation lie were he to contact police?”

The court was told about the prosecution's “elephant in the room” - a lack of a clear motive for Julian Felisi to murder Mr Bennett.

Mr Rhodes said: “No murder is pretty. It is nasty, vicious, brutish and squalid – it is a huge step for someone to take. The prosecution have said throughout they do not need to prove the motive as they know Julian Felisi killed Mr Bennett.

“Yet whatever investigations they have undertaken, they have found no reason or inkling of any bad blood or issue that existed between the defendant and the victim which would have made him take that huge step to committing murder."

The court was asked to consider why Felisi would run the risk of Mr Bennett telling his mother he was picking him up that morning if the defendant's intention was to kill him.

Mr Rhodes referred to the telephone call history between the defendant and the victim, explaining it proved there was little contact between the two.

The defence barrister also pointed to witness accounts claiming Mr Bennett was acting out of character in the weeks before his death.

This, he suggested, was because he was short of money and looking to get hold of some tobacco to make extra cash – a theory the defence claim is supported by testimony from Jon Leneghan who said Mr Bennett asked him for tobacco in the weeks before his death.

The court was reminded the defendant was aware of the layout of the park and that he claimed he knew there was CCTV in operation there.

Mr Rhodes said: “Looking at it from the point of view of a man wanting to commit murder, is taking him to that park a risk you would run?”

The defence pointed to “criticisms” from the prosecution that Felisi was not listening to the conversation between Mr Bennett and the two Irishmen in his car.

The barrister said: “Again, put yourself in his shoes, sometimes people do not listen because in some situations you feel it is none of your business, I am sure you have all been in a position like that before.”

Mr Rhodes suggested Mr Bennett was the victim of a “sting” by the two Irishmen who “lured him into the park on the promise of tobacco, only to beat up and rob the victim”.

Mr Rhodes said: “Did they know the defendant was going to be there? Had they simply made an arrangement with Mr Bennett. Both figures, one of whom the prosecution claim must be Mr Bennett, walk into the park apparently without coercion.”

Referring to the defendant's silence during police interviews, Mr Rhodes asked the jury to consider “why a man should be criticised for exercising his right to silence”.

Mr Rhodes made reference to the prosecution's “criticism” that Felisi failed to call anyone other than his work in the immediate aftermath of Mr Bennett's attack.

He said: “You might think your natural instinct would be to call the emergency services – it is reasonable. But you have to ask yourself, why did the defendant not do that? Is it because he is the murderer or was it something else that superseded in his mind?”

Mr Rhodes is due to finalise the closing statements from the defence on Thursday morning.