Accused was ‘so calm’ after stabbing

A murder trial jury has heard that when a security guard at a Kilkenny shopping centre confronted a man who had repeatedly stabbed a woman, he did not see “any emotion in him” and “he was so calm after what he had done”.
Accused was ‘so calm’ after stabbing

Shane Smyth, aged 29, with an address at McGuinness House, Evans Lane, Kilkenny, is charged with murdering Mairead Moran, aged 26, on May 8, 2014, at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny City.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Mr Smyth pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

John O’Kelly, prosecuting, called James Coffey, who was working as a security guard in the shopping centre on May 8, 2014.

Mr O’Kelly read from a statement Mr Coffey gave to gardaí at the time.

The court heard a cleaner called out to Mr Coffey and pointed to Ms Moran who was standing in the doorway of Holland and Barrett “crying and looking very upset”.

Mr Coffey agreed she told him Mr Smyth had accused her of “kidnapping him and stealing his blood”.

The court heard Mr Coffey told Mr Smyth he had upset the girl and he had to leave the shopping centre.

When Mr Coffey returned to tell Ms Moran he had left the premises, she told him she knew Mr Smyth, gave him his name and address and said “he had obviously been off his meds”.

The court heard after Mr Coffey radioed a colleague in the centre to tell him Mr Smyth was not welcome there again, he got another call on his radio.

“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’,” said Mr Coffey.

Mr O’Kelly read that Ms Moran was slumped at the door and Mr Smyth was standing nearby which the witness agreed with.

The court heard it was only when Mr Coffey pushed Mr Smyth back did he see a “bloodied knife in his hand”.

The witness agreed with counsel there was “a complete blank look on his face” and “he was stone-faced”.

The witness agreed with Colman Cody, defending, that Ms Moran had made him aware that Mr Smyth had previously attended at St Luke’s Acute Psychiatric Unit in Kilkenny.

Liam Dwyer, who was a security guard at Market Cross Shopping Centre, told the court at 8.23pm, he had radio contact with his colleague James Coffey, who told him he had removed a man from Holland and Barrett.

He went to the location.

Reading from Mr Dwyer’s statement, Mr O’Kelly told the court that when the witness confronted Mr Smyth, he did not see “any emotion in him, he was so calm after what he had done”.

Earlier, opening the case for the prosecution, Mr O’Kelly told the jury that when the indictment was read to Mr Smyth, his response was not guilty by reason of insanity.

“If such a defence is raised by an accused person, they are required to prove that defence to you,” he said.

The court heard that Mr Smyth had known Ms 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.

The barrister told the jury they will hear reports by psychiatrists Paul O’Connell and Brenda Wright. Mr O’Kelly read to the court that in Dr O’Connell’s professional opinion the accused suffers from “paranoid schizophrenia” and this was diagnosed during in-patient admission in 2006.

The court also heard that Mr Smyth’s mental illness had “the effect that he would not have been able to refrain from doing what he did.”

The trial continues.

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