Verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity

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A man who stabbed a popular publican in his home was found not guilty of assault causing harm and aggravated burglary by reason of insanity at Kilkenny Circuit Court.

A man who stabbed a popular publican in his home was found not guilty of assault causing harm and aggravated burglary by reason of insanity at Kilkenny Circuit Court.

Karol Keane, Kilmanagh was remanded to the Central Mental Hospital where he will be assessed by a psychiatrist and is due to appear at Kilkenny Circuit Court on May 13.

In her summing up to the jury Judge Alice Doyle outlined how Keane had broken a rear door of Brennans public house in the early hours of July 13, 2013 and entered the premises.

He then proceeded to an upstairs bedroom where he stabbed Mr Joe Brennan a number of times in the chest and abdomen before leaving the scene.

He then placed the knife and placed it in the ground of a nearby woods.

In the weeks leading up to the attack the accused had been living with his father, Johnny Keane in Kilmanagh.

The accused told gardai that he had walked the dog at 3am and at 4am he entered Mr Brennan’s premises using a sledgehammer.

The court heard that the defendant had delusional beliefs at the time of the attack. He told gardai that he saw ‘melting trees’ and also referred to ‘poltergeists’ and a ‘light shining through the trees’.

Keane, who according to medical evidence was suffering from delusions ‘before, during and after’ the attack said that he decided not to stab Mr Brennan in the heart to ‘give him a chance to repent’.

After placing the knife in the ground in the forestry plantation he returned to his father’s home where he was arrested a short time later.

After his arrest Keane admitted that he had stabbed Mr Brennan multiple times and subsequently brought gardai to the location where he had placed the knife.

Following his arrest he was questioned at Thomastown Garda Station and remanded to Cloverhill Prison. Approximately two weeks after his arrest he was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.