Tuesday 21 November 2017

Murder accused 'fantasised of ways to get in jail'

Thinkstock Images
Thinkstock Images

Peter Doyle

A PSYCHIATRIC patient accused of murdering a fellow patient told a garda he fantasised about ways of getting into prison and considered killing his neighbours before his admission to hospital.

Ian Harman (50), of Carrickallen, Mountain Lodge, Cootehill, Co Cavan, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Michael Treanor at the psychiatric unit of Cavan General Hospital, Lisdarn, Co Cavan, on June 27, 2011.

The court was told yesterday that Detective Garda Kieron King interviewed the accused after he had been taken into custody at Cavan garda station hours after the alleged offence.

And notes made by Det Gda King during the interview were read out in court by prosecuting counsel Paddy McCarthy SC.

Det Gda King's notes described how the accused said he felt "inadequate as a father" and had been "fantasising about ways of getting into prison".

According to the detective's notes, Mr Harman said he had also considered killing "a couple of his neighbours" prior to his admission to hospital.


Mr Harman then informed Det Gda King: "I have been thinking of killing Michael Treanor for a couple mornings now."

The accused also told the detective that he believed he had his "wits about him" at the time of the alleged offence and that he chose Mr Treanor as his alleged victim, who had been suffering from dementia, because the 82-year-old was an "easy target".

Garda Christine Gallagher was on duty as the "member in charge" at Cavan garda station when Mr Harman was brought into custody.

The accused was described as "sober and alert" in Gda Gallagher's notes from that day, which were also read out in court by Mr McCarthy.

Gda Gallagher's notes also described how Mr Harman's wife visited her husband at the station later the same day

The notes added: "Mrs Harman asked what he had done. Mr Harman said he had strangled and suffocated Michael Treanor.

"She then asked why. She said he was 'a nice man'. He said that 'because I am evil'.

Opening the trial earlier this week, Mr McCarthy said Mr Harman, who was originally from England, was a voluntary patient at the unit.

The trial, before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, continues.

Irish Independent

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