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Fitness to plead issues likely in woman's trial for dad-of-7's murder

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Christina Anderson is accused of murdering Garreth Kelly

Christina Anderson is accused of murdering Garreth Kelly

Christina Anderson is accused of murdering Garreth Kelly

Fitness to plead issues are expected to be raised in the case of a mother-of-three accused of murdering a man in a knife attack in Dublin.

Christina Anderson's defence said the issue "will arise" after the DPP issued directions for her to face trial for killing father-of-seven Garreth Kelly.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican adjourned the case and further remanded Ms Anderson (38) in custody in her absence, as she was too unwell to attend court.

Ms Anderson is charged with murdering Mr Kelly (39) last February 25 on the street outside her home at Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, where he was stabbed after trying to start his car.

She has been unable to attend court since she first appeared on the charge in February and has been detained at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

A state solicitor told Dublin District Court yesterday that the accused remained at the CMH, and formal directions had been issued by the DPP for prosecution on indictment.

Defence solicitor Jenny McGeever said there was consent to a two-week remand in custody.

The state solicitor asked if the defence could confirm if there was a fitness to plead issue, and said this could be raised on the next court date.

"I think it certainly will be a matter that will arise," Ms McGeever said.

She asked if the prosecution expected the book of evidence to be ready on the next date.

The state solicitor said this was unlikely.

Judge Coolican adjourned the case to September 2.

The court previously heard the garda investigation was a complex one involving 140 witness statements and electronic evidence.

In a hearing last month, def-ence solicitor Michael Kelleher had queried the length of time it was taking at that point for the DPP's directions to be given.

Any charge of this nature was complex, but he did not think his client's case was "particularly complicated" for this type of offence.

"We have somebody in custody who is not terribly well, there should be some level of priority," Mr Kelleher said.

Gardai believed there was no undue delay, referring to the complexity of the case.

Assessed

Legal aid was previously granted after the court heard the accused's husband was working and they had three children. There was no garda objection.

A judge had earlier ordered the accused to be medically and psychiatrically assessed.

On the first court date last February, Det Sgt Dara Kenny said Ms Anderson made no reply when charged.

Mr Kelly, from Tallaght, had been living in Clondalkin and was believed to have been staying over at a house in Brownsbarn at the time of his murder.