herald

Thursday 21 March 2019

'Psychotic' episode led to attack on couple having dinner in pub

Bernardus Jozef Scherrenberg (47) of Zoetermeer, Holland pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at the car park of B&Q, Liffey Valley
Bernardus Jozef Scherrenberg (47) of Zoetermeer, Holland pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at the car park of B&Q, Liffey Valley

A man carried out an unprovoked attack on a couple who were out for dinner in a pub when he had a "psychotic" breakdown after mixing alcohol with medication.

Gary Kelly (40) pushed the man and his wife to the floor, then came up with a "conspiracy theory" the CCTV footage of the assault had been doctored.

Judge Paula Murphy adjourned the case for a pre-sentence probation report.

Kelly, of Glenville Road, Castleknock, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Kim Quearney and common assault on her husband Robert.

Garda Christopher Ward told Dublin District Court the incident happened at the Clonsilla Inn on April 28 last.

The accused repeatedly approached the victims' table, speaking on his mobile phone.

Ms Quearney asked him to give them space, he argued with her and she felt uncomfortable, so they got up to leave.

Kelly pushed Mr Quearney into a staircase and forcefully pushed his wife to the ground. She fell on a tiled surface, hitting her head and injuring her hip, shoulder and neck.

Injuries

The injuries were bruising and she recovered fully, suffering no long-term damage.

Kelly initially denied any involvement when gardai met him outside and when shown the CCTV footage, he had "fanciful ideas" - he thought there was a "conspiracy" and the footage had been doctored.

Gda Ward said he felt Kelly, who had a young family and no prior convictions, was a "decent man" who was "going through a bad patch".

Defence barrister Alan Grace said Kelly's "unusual behaviour" was due to mental health issues at the time.

He was prescribed anti-depressant medication and did not appreciate the effect mixing this with alcohol would have.

This seemed to have induced paranoia and "some sort of psychosis or mental breakdown" and the accused acted erratically and inexcusably, Mr Grace said.

The victims had not done anything to bring this on themselves and were unfortunate to be in Kelly's vicinity when he was going through mental issues.

Kelly was now lucid, there were "no more conspiracy theories" and he accepted what happened and apologised. There were no fitness to plead issues.

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