Friday 23 March 2018

Man (30) found not guilty of grandad's murder by reason of insanity

VICTIM: Michael Gannon was babysitting at time of attack
VICTIM: Michael Gannon was babysitting at time of attack

Anne Sharkey

A 30-year-old man has been found not guilty of the murder of a Dublin granddad by reason of insanity.

Dragos Nica, of Mourne Park, Skerries, Co Dublin had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of Michael Gannon (55) at Mourne Park, Skerries, Co Dublin on November 14th, 2013.

The three day trial heard that Mr Nica, who is originally from Bacau in Romania, had formed the belief that Mr Gannons daughter Jade, had poisoned him.

The jury heard that, Mr Nica, who has lived in Ireland for 19 years, claimed he woke on the morning of November 14th, 2013 with a numb finger and that his upper arm was "bubbling up".

The court heard that the accused said: "I was freaking and panicking but I was going to take it out on the world."

It was following this that Mr Nica claims he armed himself with a second knife before going to Jade's house.

The court heard previously that on the evening of the attack, Mr Gannon was babysitting his daughter Jade's two young children and a neighbour's child at Jade's house in Mourne Park, next door to Mr Nica's house.

The court heard that Mr Gannon was making dinner when one of the children told him a man was looking in the window of the living-room.

Mr Gannon went to investigate, opened the door and the accused man was there, the court was told.

The jury were told that Mr Gannon was stabbed and died within a few feet of the stabbing.

The court heard that Mr Nica struck Mr Gannon over the chest.

Mr Nica then rang the emergency services claiming he had stabbed someone.

Earlier today, counsel for the prosecution, Patrick Treacy SC said: "Nobody is in anyway trying to downplay (what happened). However, two psychiatrists agree with each other that at the time the stabbing of Mr Gannon took place, Mr Nica was suffering from an acute psychosis of schizophrenia," he said.

Defending counsel, Jonathan Kilfeather SC said: "Since this has happened, (Mr Nica) has been kept in a locked unit. The diagnosis hasn't changed - the treatment hasn't changed - as far as they are concerned he is still ill."

Speaking outside the court, Mr Gannons brother Patrick said that that his brother would do anything for anyone.

"He was a hard worker and would do anything for anyone. He was a cracker of a father and a cracker of a brother."

The jury of seven men and five women returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity after 45 minutes.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked the jury saying that any other verdict would not have been consistent with the evidence and exempted them from jury duty for five years.

He said that Mr Nica is in need of in-patient care and committed him to the Central Mental Hospital to appear in court again on February 15th following examination by a medical officer.

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