Central Criminal Court
The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of an autistic Kilkenny man, charged with attempting to murder his pregnant sister so she wouldn’t raise her child in Dublin.
Daniel O’Connell (33) with an address at Rosemount, Newpark, Co Kilkenny has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to the attempted murder of Olivia O’Connell in a case, where the jury may find him ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’.
Mr O’Connell admitted during Garda interviews that he had tried to kill her by stabbing her a number of times on April 25, 2016 in her home at Scholarstown Park, Scholarstown Road, Knocklyon, Dublin. He said he had decided to ‘do away with her’ so she wouldn’t raise her child in Dublin.
The Central Criminal Court jury heard brief closing speeches from both sides this (Thursday) morning. Michael Bowman SC, prosecuting, said that, because the facts of the case were admitted, Mr O’Connell’s ‘state of mind is where the true battleground in this case lies’.
However, he said that no dispute arose between the prosecution and the defence in relation to the defendant’s state of mind.
He said that doctors for both sides came to a similar conclusion, that Mr O’Connell suffered from a mental disorder. He said their evidence was ‘in conformity’ with a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, suggesting that as the appropriate verdict.
Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, said he agreed entirely with Mr Bowman. “I ask you to return a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity,” he said.
Mr Justice Paul Butler said that it must have been an absolutely horrendous experience for the victim
“She was vulnerable, she was pregnant, she was suffering an illness and it was a horrendous attack,” he said. “She has my greatest sympathy.”
However, he summarised the medical conclusions for the six men and six women of the jury, telling them he didn’t think that they’d have the slightest difficulty in reaching a unanimous verdict.
The jury had considered its verdict for over an hour before taking a break for lunch. Deliberations will continue this afternoon.