independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Man found not guilty of manslaughter

A CARLOW man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of the manslaughter of a married couple in a Kilkenny road crash.

Sean Dillon from Killerig, Co. Carlow told Dr Paul O'Connell (Consultant Psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital) after the crash that it was a suicide attempt and that he wanted to die.

Kilkenny Circuit Court heard that on the evening of August 24, 2011 at 6.20 pm, Dillon grabbed the steering wheel of the car driven by his sister and forced it across the road, hitting an oncoming car and killing two of the occupants, a retired couple. The crash left the driver of the other car, the couple's daughter, with very serious injuries and also left Dillon's sister badly injured.

Five weeks before the crash Dillon had stabbed himself 15 times with a kitchen knife in a suicide attempt. He suffered thirteen stab wounds to his chest and two to his abdomen. He was found by his sister, had life-saving surgery and spent four days in an Intensive Care Unit.

Mr Dillon was charged with the double manslaughter of Tommy and Angela Kenneally, Templemore, Co Tipperary at Troyswood, Freshford Road, Kilkenny. He was also charged with causing serious harm to Emma Kenneally, daughter of the deceased who was driving her parents at the time of the accident. She worked as a primary school teacher in Durrow.

The court heard also that Dillon, who was a schizophrenic in-patient at St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, had had his medication reduced in the weeks prior to the crash.

The jury of eight women and four men took 25 minutes to come to a decision. After the jury delivered its verdict, Judge Alice Doyle ordered that Dillon be committed to the Central Mental Hospital until May 7 for the preparation of a psychiatry report before appearing in court again.

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