Thank you, my lord. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the charge being defended today is a heinous one, the crime of murder, which is the unlawful and premeditated killing of one person by another. But I suspect the details of the charge make very little difference to you - if I were a betting man, and disastrously for my personal life I have demonstrated endlessly that I am, I would put money on the fact that you will find Professor Joyce guilty of any charges put before him for the simple fact that you are endlessly, almost screamingly terrified just to be in the same room as him, and the reason for your terror is that he is a cannibal.
But I would remind the jury that the charge being defended is murder, not cannibalism, which is not illegal in this country. We do not defend his cannibalism, and we certainly do not condone it - in fact were you to suggest that an act be put before parliament with the intention of outlawing the practice of cannibalism, then I dare say that it would have the full and unequivocal support of Mr Meagher and myself.
But that particular act has not been put before parliament, and therefore is not a charge to be defended in this case. The defendant has, if I can impose upon your good natures to hear it again, been charged with murder, and we will be making every effort to defend Professor Joyce on that charge. And the underlying fact upon which we will rely is one which is extremely simple and yet incredibly pertinent to this case, namely that it is a fact well known to one and all that it is entirely impossible to murder a dead man.