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Friday 9 December 2016

Killer neighbour 'looked possessed' as he blasted mum and her daughter

Karina Dargan on the day of the attack Picture: Patrick Cummins
Karina Dargan on the day of the attack Picture: Patrick Cummins

A 60-year-old man shot dead a mother-of-six and injured her daughter as they sat drinking tea in their kitchen because he believed they were calling him a paedophile, a murder trial has heard.

James Redmond (60) is charged with murdering Mary Dargan and attempting to murder Karina Dargan at their home in Killinarden estate on March 15, 2014.

Karina Dargan told the court that in March 2014 she was living in her mother's house with her daughter, which had been the family home for many years.

"I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mum, my sister Jessie and her son. We were having a giggle about Jessie's upcoming wedding.

Possessed

"I looked out at the corner of my eye and I saw him (Redmond) walking in calmly. He said: 'Are you f**king laughing now'," she said.

"He looked like something possessed out of The Exorcist."

Opening the case for the prosecution, Ms Pauline Walley, SC, told the jury of seven men and five women that Ms Dargan was killed while she was drinking tea in the kitchen of her home with her adult daughters. Karina was shot in the head but survived.

Prosecution counsel told the jury that both families were neighbours and they had lived "peacefully and amicably side by side" in the Killinarden estate for many years.

"Mr Redmond had become depressed some months earlier and he believed Mary Dargan and her daughter were chanting that he was a paedophile and it was being said about him in the community," said Ms Walley.

The court heard that Mr Redmond left his home in Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, Dublin, jumped over the back wall with a shotgun and then shot Mary Dargan.

The blast severed the 66 year-old's artery and she died.

The accused then shot Karina Dargan in the head as she attempted to run from the kitchen.

"As Karina was calling for her brother Gary who was watching television in the next room, he leapt off the sofa and overcame James Redmond, who had the gun in his hand.

"It is like something out of a horror story and is very upsetting," she said.

A neighbour came to the assistance of Karina and brought her to hospital.

Gary Dargan then "overpowered" the accused and detained him in the hallway.

"The accused man told Garda Gildea at the scene that he shot Mary Dargan as she was calling him a paedophile.

He said in later garda interviews that Mary and her daughter had been calling him a paedophile and had engaged in mind games with him.

He said Karina was chanting at night time and he could hear these chants coming through the attic. He also believed that Karina said his wife was a whore and his daughter was a hardcore porn star," said Ms Walley.

Sleeping

Counsel told the jury that both families got on well and "nothing untoward" had ever happened between them.

Ms Walley said the jury would hear that the accused's family became concerned about him at the end of 2013.

"Mr Redmond went to visit a GP in January 2014, who noted he was of low mood and getting depressed. He was prescribed sleeping tablets," she said.

The barrister said the court would hear that on two occasions in January 2014 Mr Redmond went to gardai in Tallaght and claimed he was being accused by Mary Dargan and her daughter of being a paedophile.

"On another occasion, he claimed people on the street believed he was a paedophile. He claimed this had been happening for a number of months," she said.

Mr Redmond pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the two charges at the Central Criminal Court.

Before the prosecution opened its case, defence counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC, made a number of admissions of fact to the court on behalf of his client.

The barrister told the court that Mr Redmond pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the two charges and admitted that he had committed the acts of killing Mary Dargan and attempting to kill her daughter Karina.

"James Redmond held a firearms licence for the shotgun which he owned and used in the shooting on that date. He has been in custody since March 15, 2014, and in the Central Mental Hospital since the end of March 2014," said counsel.

"The accused said he carried out those physical and horrendous acts. The issue you will have to decide is if the accused possessed the necessary intent at the time or was he suffering from a mental disorder. Two mental experts accept Mr Redmond did not possess the necessary intent and you will hear from them," she said.

The trial continues.

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