Kilkenny stab victim says accused man “rained down blows on my head”

Gerard Dowling (40) of The Sycamores, Freshford Road, Kilkenny pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity of the attempted murder of 60-year-old Simon Bourke at Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny City...

Eoin Reynolds

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Eoin Reynolds

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Kilkenny stab victim says accused man “rained down blows on my head”

Central Criminal Court in Dublin

A Kilkenny man who was stabbed with a knife says the individual accused of attacking him “rained down blows on my head”.

Gerard Dowling (40) of The Sycamores, Freshford Road, Kilkenny pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity of the attempted murder of 60-year-old Simon Bourke at Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny City.

Mr Dowling is on trial at the Central Criminal Court for the incident in Kilkenny City on July 13, 2016.

He also pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting Mr Bourke causing him harm and to producing a knife during the same incident.

The court heard this week that the prosecution psychiatrist would say that Mr Dowling suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

The accused told Gardaí that on the morning of the assault he went to the Department of Psychiatry (DOP) at St Luke’s Hospital because he was feeling paranoid and hearing voices. However when he went to the DOP he said he didn’t see anyone.

“They seemed busy,” he added.

CCTV footage shows Mr Dowling entering St Luke’s at 10.08am that morning and leaving at 10.22am. The accused explained to Gardaí that after leaving St Luke’s he attacked a man using a knife he had bought some weeks earlier. He said he didn’t know the man.

Mr Bourke told the jury that he and his partner, Margaret O’Brien, were walking towards Market Cross Shopping Centre, when they noticed a man following them and staring at him. As they entered the shopping centre he turned to the man and asked him if he was alright.

Speaking in court, Mr Bourke said: “He took the knife straight out and launched straight into it. He lashed a blow in to my shoulder and thereafter he rained down blows on my head.”

He said he was struck with “great force” and it felt like a hammer or a rock was hitting him.

Ms O’Brien said: “I knew if he stabbed him one more time he would be dead.” The trial continues.