A Kilkenny man has been found not guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend by reason of insanity.
Shane Smyth of McGuinness House, Evans Lane stabbed Mairead Moran to death at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny in May 2014.
The court heard he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was convinced she was part of a conspiracy to steal his blood.
The jurors returned with the special verdict in the past few minutes after deliberating for less than an hour.
During four days of evidence, they heard how Shane Smyth had become convinced that Mairead Moran was part of a conspiracy to steal his blood.
On May 8, 2014, he went to the Holland & Barrett shop where she worked and stabbed her eight times.
Passersby ran to her side, while he made his way to his cousin’s house where he was arrested a short time later.
The trial heard Mr Smyth was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia over 10 years ago, but refused to take his medication and went largely untreated.
Two psychiatrists concluded he did not have the capacity to form the relevant criminal intent for murder, and the jurors agreed.
The 29-year-old has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital where he will be assessed ahead of a hearing next week to determine the best course of action.