Tuesday 20 November 2018

Woman's sanity in attack 'is central to throat-slitting trial'

Laura Kenna outside court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Laura Kenna outside court yesterday. Photo: Collins

Ruaidhri Giblin and Natasha Reid

A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a woman pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to the attempted murder of a civil servant who was walking home from work.

Laura Kenna (35), of no fixed abode, is accused of attempting to murder Fionnuala Bourke on Lower Drumcondra Road in Dublin on January 3, 2017.

Ms Kenna has also pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting Ms Bourke, intending to cause her serious harm.

Her Central Criminal Court trial heard that Ms Bourke was walking home from work around 5pm that day, when she was attacked by Ms Kenna with a knife.

Her throat was slit and she suffered severe facial scarring.

The jury heard that the central issue was Ms Kenna's state of mind at the time. The court heard from two Central Mental Hospital consultant psychiatrists, who gave conflicting opinions.

The prosecution gave its closing address to the jury yesterday.

He said that "the heartland of this case" was Ms Kenna's mental state at the time.

The defence explained that the jury was entitled to decide on the balance of probabilities whether his client was legally insane at the time.

The jury spent less than an hour considering its verdict yesterday and will resume deliberations on Monday.

Irish Independent

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