Monday 20 November 2017

'Shane's freaking me out' - what Mairead Moran told shop security months before she was killed, court hears

Mairead Moran and, inset, Shane Smyth
Mairead Moran and, inset, Shane Smyth

Andrew Phelan

MAIREAD MORAN told shopping centre security months before she was killed that Shane Smyth had been hanging around and “freaking her out”, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Security guards working at Kilkenny's Market Cross Shopping Centre said in statements that Ms Moran called them because a man she knew was walking around outside the shop staring at her.

The Central Criminal Court also heard another woman who worked in a launderette told a security guard that the same man had come into her shop, threatened to stab her, accused her of being a witch and putting a spell on his laundry.

Read more: 'Paranoid' murder accused believed victim was part of plot

Statements were being read into evidence this morning in the trial of Shane Smyth (29), who fatally stabbed Ms Moran (26) with a knife after dragging her out of her store as she finished her day’s work.

The jury has been told Mr Smyth had been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. Medical reports stated he had been suffering from a delusion that he was being persecuted and Ms Moran was part of a conspiracy against him.

Mairead Moran died from a wound to her body which went into her heart
Mairead Moran died from a wound to her body which went into her heart
Shane Smyth who is accused of the murder of Mairead Moran

Mr Smyth, with an address at McGuinness House, Evans Lane, Kilkenny is charged with murdering Ms Moran on May 8, 2014 at Holland and Barrett health food shop in Market Cross Shopping Centre

He is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

Today, the jury heard security guard John O’Donoghue made a statement that he was called by Ms Moran on April 3, 2014.

She informed him that an ex-boyfriend had been hanging around the shop “freaking her out.”

Mr O’Donoghue knew the man from having been in the centre before and never had any trouble with him, the statement continued.

He was dressed in black and had long hair.

Mr O’Donoghue walked around to let his presence be seen and the man got up and walked off. Ms Moran told him she had dated him years ago, his statement continued.

The man had started coming around, making strange comments and freaking her out, he said she told him.

He told her not to walk home alone and she said she had.

Mr O’Donoghue asked another security guard what had happened and he told him he had asked the man to leave, which he did with no hassle.

The statement continued that a woman, Sandra Collins, who worked in the dry cleaners, mentioned that the man “had come into the shop and threatened to stab her.” She had said he told her she was a witch and that she had put a spell on his laundry.

Another security guard, Richard O’Donoghue said he was working on May 8 when he was told Ms Moran had been stabbed.

Read more: Man (29) pleads not guilty to murdering Mairead Moran at a shopping centre

In his statement, he said he had been requested to remove “the same person” from Holland and Barrett on March 10.

On the earlier date, he said in his statement, Ms Moran said the man was freaking her out, walking up and down outside the shop, staring in at her. She said he had been doing this for the previous couple of weeks but did not say she was afraid of him.

He advised her to ring the gardai.

She told him at that stage she “knew the fella for some time” but did not say he was an ex-boyfriend.

The trial continues before the jury and Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

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