A jury in the kidnap case of missing tycoon Teddy Wang Teh-huei reached deadlock less than 40 minutes after being asked to begin considering its verdict yesterday. The judge was told that a decision had been reached, but when the jury came into court the foreman revealed that the votes for guilt or innocence were split 4-3. Mr Justice Frank Stock said this did not amount to a verdict because at least five jurors must agree before their decision could be accepted. The judge asked whether the jurors had formed only a preliminary view of the case or whether the split decision was the final conclusion of their discussions. They left court again before returning minutes later to inform the judge that there was no point in carrying on. The foreman said all the jurors had raised their hands when asked if their decision was final. 'I discharge you from delivering a verdict in this case. Your function is at an end,' said Mr Justice Stock. It is rare for juries to become deadlocked so quickly. The judge had spent almost a day summing up the evidence, which had taken two weeks to put before the jurors. Fan Kam-tai, 41, a fisherman, denied plotting to kidnap Chinachem boss Mr Wang, who was snatched in April 1990 and has not been seen since. The judge ordered that Fan stand trial again, before a new jury, later in the year. He rejected an application by defence barrister John McNamara for Fan, who has been in custody for a year, to be released on bail. The kidnapping was described during the trial as one of the crimes of the century. A jury of four men and three women had been asked to decide whether they believed the evidence of gang member Li Wai-kit, 41, the prosecution's star witness. He claimed that Fan had played a key role by providing the fishing trawler where Mr Wang was held captive while ransom demands of US$60 million (HK$464.5 million) were made to his family. Fan told police he had been forced by the gang to help after threats were made against himself and his family. He said that he was not involved until after the kidnap had taken place and took part against his will.