Saturday 25 November 2017

'It's horrible, I can't believe I killed her', accused told gardai

Stabbing victim Mairead Moran
Stabbing victim Mairead Moran

Murder accused Shane Smyth admitted to gardai he stabbed Mairead Moran, but repeatedly told them he did not think he had killed her, the Central Criminal Court heard.

The accused told officers he accepted he had inflicted "countless wounds" on her, but throughout three interviews, said he "had difficulty believing" he had killed Ms Moran.

Mr Smyth fatally stabbed Ms Moran (26) with a knife after dragging her out of the store where she worked at Market Cross Shopping Centre, Kilkenny, on May 8, 2014.

Mr Smyth (29), with an address at McGuinness House, Evans Lane, Kilkenny is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.


The jury heard he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and believed Ms Moran was part of a conspiracy against him.

Detective Sergeant Colin Furlong was led by Brian O'Shea, BL, for the prosecution, through evidence of the memos of interview at Kilkenny Garda Station on May 9 and 10, 2014.

In the first interview, he said he "asked her why she was looking for vials of my blood".

He said she ran out crying and he was told to leave. He said he went back to talk to her.

He told gardai he had a knife and asked if he did anything with it, he said: "I'm not sure."

When told Ms Moran was dead, he said: "I can't believe that. It's horrible to hear."

He accepted his knife was found, but when asked if he used it to stab Ms Moran fatally, he said: "I don't believe that."

"Do you accept that you caused fatal wounds to Mairead Moran?" he was then asked.

"Yes," he replied.

"Did you mean to do it?" he was asked, to which he said: "No."

When asked in the third interview if he accepted he had killed Ms Moran, he said: "I think that it might be a possibility. I'm unsure of my memories, I'm not mentally well."

"Did you kill Mairead?" he was asked.

"Everything seems to say I did," Mr Smyth said.

"Mairead is dead," the interviewer repeated.

"I can't believe that," Mr Smyth replied.

Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr Brenda Wright said in her opinion, Mr Smyth did not have the capacity to form intent in the killing because of his mental illness. She concluded he understood what he was doing was legally wrong, but harboured a "psychotic moral justification for his behaviour".


Dr Wright said Mr Smyth's actions resulted directly from his "delusional beliefs".

"At the time, Mr Smyth did not have the capacity to form intent because of his mental disorder," she said.

Dr Wright said in her opinion, the accused did not understand the nature and quality of his actions at the time of the alleged offence.

"I believe that he understood that what he was doing was legally wrong… but it is my belief that he harboured a psychotic moral justification for his behaviour," she said.

"It is my belief that he was unable to refrain from what he did," she added.

The trial continues.

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