Sunday 22 April 2018

Murder accused was 'on another planet' after attack

Mairead Moran
Mairead Moran
Shane Smyth

Andrew Phelan

Murder accused Shane Smyth told his cousin he had stabbed Mairead Moran because he believed she had put secret cameras in his house, and black widow spiders which had bitten and paralysed him.

His cousin Rosemary Grogan said Mr Smyth had a "wild look in his eyes" when he called to her house after attacking Ms Moran (26) and she described him as being "on another planet".

Ms Grogan was giving evidence in the trial at the Central Criminal Court of Mr Smyth, who fatally stabbed Ms Moran, pictured inset top, after dragging her out of the store where she worked at Market Cross Shopping Centre, Kilkenny, on May 8, 2014.

Mr Smyth (29), with an address at McGuinness House, Evans Lane, Kilkenny, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ms Grogan, Mr Smyth's first cousin, told the court she was at home at Hazel Grove, Loughboy, that night when the accused called to her door. Led through her statement by John O'Kelly SC, for the prosecution, she said: "Shane had a wild look in his eyes and he was pulling at his hair."

He asked to come inside, saying he needed to talk to her for a minute.

Ms Grogan walked to the kitchen with Mr Smyth, whom she described as "agitated".

"He stopped in the hall and told me he was after going spastic down the town," she said. "He told me he was after stabbing someone."

She "got a fright" and told him to go into the kitchen. Because he was a paranoid schizophrenic, she did not know if what he was saying was true "or if it was all in his head".

"He said he had stabbed his ex-girlfriend Mairead in the nature shop in Market Cross shopping centre," Ms Grogan said. "I thought he was delusional, that he had imagined it," she told the court. She said Mr Smyth had told her Ms Moran had put secret cameras in his house. He also told her Ms Moran had put black widow spiders in his house, he had been bitten and was paralysed for eight hours afterwards.

She said Mr Smyth told her he had gone to the shop because he wanted to "find out why she was doing these things to him".

When she asked him if Ms Moran was OK, he said "she must be because he could feel her presence".

Ms Grogan said Mr Smyth "wasn't angry" when he was at her house, but described him as "being on another planet".

The court also heard that Ms Moran had told security guards at the Market Cross Shopping Centre that Mr Smyth had been hanging around and "freaking her out".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News