herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Accused claimed 'she was poisoning me and now I have exploded'

Accuser Alicja Kalinowska. Photo: Collins Courts
Accuser Alicja Kalinowska. Photo: Collins Courts

A man who denies trying to murder his partner by stuffing underwear in her mouth and hitting her with a hammer "exploded" because he believed his partner, the mother of his child, was poisoning his food, a court heard yesterday.

During garda interviews the accused man, Tomas Gajowniczek (37), told gardai to take a blood sample from him to find out what was in his system.

Mr Gajowniczek was interviewed at Pearse Street Garda Station on June 16, 2016.

Detective Garda Nathan McKenna told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that during his third and fourth interviews the accused man told gardai that he was feeling much better, having earlier felt as though he was on drugs - he was sweating and unable to think clearly, he told them.

He accused Alicja Kalinowska (30) of drugging him and their baby by putting something in their food and drink.

"She was poisoning me and now I have exploded," he told gardai, before asking them to take a blood sample.

Garda Colm Reynolds told defence counsel Ronan Munro SC that gardai did not take a sample and that he did not think at the time that it was relevant to their investigation.

Insanity

The trial continues in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women at the Central Criminal Court.

Consultant psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital, Dr Conor O'Neill, told the trial that Mr Gajowniczek was suffering from a mental illness.

Dr O'Neill said the accused man's illness made him unable to refrain from his actions and he therefore qualifies for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Mr Gajowniczek, of The Ice Rink Apartments, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Ms Kalinowska at their home on June 16, 2016.

He also pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ms Kalinowska on the same date at the same location.

Dr O'Neill told Mr Munro that the accused has a delusional disorder, which is a mental illness as defined by the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act. He said Mr Gajowniczek believed that his partner was trying to drug or poison him and his baby when he is alleged to have assaulted her. This belief, the doctor said, was delusionary.

Mr Munro said that the prosecution will say that his client was not suffering from a mental illness but was smoking hash.

Dr O'Neill said he considered that but a year after Mr Gajowniczek was admitted to a drug-free unit of Cloverhill Prison he was showing the same symptoms.

He said he would expect symptoms to diminish over such a time without drugs.

He also excluded the possibility that the accused was "making it up", saying such a ruse would have taken many months of planning.

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