A JURY was unable to reach verdicts in the trial of an undercover TV researcher accused of the torture murder of a cannabis dealer.

Christopher Guest More Jr, 43 and from Lymm, is now facing a retrial after the jury remained deadlocked, despite hours spent deliberating.

The defendant denies the murder of Brian Waters, who was tortured and killed at a Knutsford farmhouse on June 19, 2003, over a drugs debt.

He also denies charges of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Waters and a second man, Suleman Razak.

The decision was announced this afternoon, Tuesday, at Chester Crown Court by justice Sir Peter Openshaw after receiving a note from the jury.

He said: “Sometimes this happens when jurors cannot agree.

“Given further time, there is no chance of reaching a verdict to which 10 of you agree.

“All that remains is for me to discharge you and offer my thanks on behalf of the community you have served.”

Jurors retired last Tuesday afternoon to begin deliberating, but after 15 hours and 30 minutes, they had not reached verdicts.

As a result, they were discharged by justice Openshaw.

A majority direction had already been given on Thursday afternoon in the hope that it might break the deadlock.

The jury therefore no longer had to reach unanimous verdicts, as the court would be satisfied with verdicts upon which 10 or more of the 12 jurors were agreed.

The prosecution, represented by Peter Hussey, said they would be seeking a retrial, which is due to last for four weeks.

A date will be agreed upon at a hearing at a later date.