Friday 21 October 2016

Man who shot mother-of-six dead as she drank tea at home 'not guilty by reason of insanity'

Alison O'Riordan

Published 28/07/2016 | 17:05

The heart broken family of Mary Dargan, inset, after she was killed
The heart broken family of Mary Dargan, inset, after she was killed

A 60-year-old man who shot dead a mother of six and injured her daughter as they sat drinking tea in their kitchen has been found not guilty of murder and attempted murder by reason of insanity.

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James Redmond (60) with an address at Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, Dublin 24 was charged with murdering Mary Dargan and attempting to murder Karina Dargan at their home in Killinarden Estate on March 15, 2014.

Mr Redmond pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the two charges at the Central Criminal Court.

Prosecution counsel, Ms Pauline Walley SC, told the jury that both families were neighbours and had lived “peacefully and amicably side by side” in the Killinarden Estate for many years.

Mr Redmond had become depressed some months earlier and he wrongly believed Karina Dargan was “chanting” that he was a paedophile and it was being said about him in the community.

It was established during the trial that there was “no substance or truth” to these allegations nor any basis in reality for them.

Victim Mary Dargan was shot dead in her kitchen
Victim Mary Dargan was shot dead in her kitchen

On March 15 Mr Redmond left his home, jumped over the back wall with a shotgun and then shot Mary Dargan dead.

Her daughter Karina was also shot in the head but survived.

Two consultant forensic psychiatrists gave evidence that Mr Redmond was suffering from “severe depressive episodes with psychotic symptoms” and would have been unable to refrain from his actions.

They both said that he met the requirements for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Karina Dargan, daughter of the late Mary Dargan
Karina Dargan, daughter of the late Mary Dargan

Today after a period of four hours and five minutes deliberating, a jury of seven men and five women returned majority verdicts of not guilty on both counts.

After they had delivered their verdict, Mr Justice Robert Eagar thanked the jury for their attention to the case.

“It’s a difficult case and I appreciate your reflections. One of the biggest things that you can do as an Irish citizen is sit on a jury and judge on the facts.”

The judge then exempted them from further jury service for a period of five years.

Mr Justice Eagar then made an order committing Mr Redmond to go to the Central Mental Hospital today and to be brought back before the court tomorrow.

The judge also directed the preparation of a psychiatric assessment.

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