A supposedly mentally ill man stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death as she finished work in a health food store, a court heard.
Shane Smyth, 29, is believed to have been suffering from a psychotic illness when he allegedly murdered Mairead Moran, 26, in May 2014.
Smyth, from Evans Lane, Kilkenny, pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Moran by reason of insanity in court on Tuesday, the Irish Mirror reported.
Prosecution counsel Mr John O’Kelly SC said the factual evidence of the case would not be disputed and the “major factor in the case” is whether or not Smyth was suffering from a mental disorder at the time.
He said that two consultant psychiatrists had prepared reports indicating that Smyth was suffering from a form of psychosis.
Mr O’Kelly told the court that the evidence in this case will be that Smyth attacked Ms Moran with a knife and stabbed her repeatedly at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny City.
The court heard that Shane Smyth had known Mairead Moran “years earlier” in their late teens when they went out together for a “brief period of seven months” after which they went their own ways.
Counsel said Ms Moran was away for some time and when she came back to the area, she started working in the Holland and Barrett store. The court was told that Smyth had been diagnosed in 2005 as suffering from schizophrenia, he had treatment for a number of months at the time in a psychiatric hospital and since then “was back out in the community.”
Mr O’Kelly said in the months leading up to May 2014, Smyth had become aware of where Ms Moran was working and there had been a previous occasion when he had confronted her. He said: “He had in fact spat at her and this was disturbing for her, she was upset about it.”
At 8pm on the evening of May 8, 2014 counsel said Smyth came into the shop and started speaking to her “quite aggressively.” Counsel said: “You will hear evidence from people saying they heard Mr Smyth asking a question to the effect of ‘why do you want my blood’.” The court was told that Smyth had a verbal altercation with Ms Moran but was sent away from the shop by a security guard. Counsel said that “within five minutes”, Smyth was back in the shop again and “this terrible attack took place.” The court heard Ms Moran was “stabbed repeatedly” with a knife which Smyth had brought to the scene and then dragged outside. Smyth fled the shopping centre and got a taxi to his cousin’s home, the court heard.
Counsel outlined that Smyth told his cousin he had stabbed “his ex girlfriend”. A report compiled by psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright outlined to the court read: “He believed he was being persecuted and people were conspiring to harm him and Ms Moran was part of this conspiracy. “He delusionally believed he was being victimised and his life was in danger and Ms Moran was part of the plot against him.” During the trial on Monday, Mr Coffey who is the security guard said that Ms Moran told him that Smyth had accused her of “kidnapping him and stealing his blood”. The security guard then ordered the accused to leave the shopping centre immediately, the court heard. The court heard after Mr Coffey radioed a colleague in the centre to tell him Smyth was not welcome there again, he got another call on his radio. Mr Coffey said: “All I heard on the radio was Holland and Barrett, I heard the girl crying out ‘Oh my god, Oh my god, I don’t believe it’.” Ms Moran was slumped at the door of the shop and Smyth was standing a couple of feet away.
The court heard Smyth had a “complete blank look on his face”. Another witness Seamus Walsh told the court he heard screams coming from just inside the Holland and Barrett shop. Mr Walsh said the man shouted twice at the girl “you stole my f**king blood”.