IG News Updates,
A 35-year-old man stabbed the manager of a pub where he worked 19 times “without warning” because he was having “psychotic delusions” and believed his former boss Michaela McRae was tried by the Central Criminal Court.
The court heard the accused, Neil O’Dowd, had become increasingly paranoid in the weeks prior to the incident and believed that COVID-19 was a conspiracy. He also thought that the pub manager was responsible for the unsolved murder of Michaela McArvey in Mauritius and brought a Mauritian chef who worked at the pub to Ireland to cover up the crime.
Mr O’Dowd, of Tuscany Park, Ballydoyle, has been charged with the attempted murder of Paul Smith at The Elphin pub on Ballydoyle Road in Sutton on January 28, 2021. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
The jury heard that Mr Smith, the pub’s manager, had been stabbed repeatedly with three different knives, had his glasses smashed into his head and had been beaten with a mop handle.
The court heard that Mr Smith had suffered a total of 19 stab wounds and following the incident he suffered a pseudoaneurysm in an artery to his heart which required surgery and a stent.
Mr O’Dowd is also charged with assault causing damage and wielding a knife during a brawl inside and outside the Elphin pub on the same date.
Opening the case to the prosecution on Tuesday, Fiona Murphy SC told the jury that this test was little different to other tests that might arise if the facts of the case were to be agreed.
“The defense has indicated that they do not take issue with any of the facts,” she said.
The lawyer said it was for the jury to decide whether the accused had the requisite intent. She told the jury that they would ask two doctors to report for the defense and prosecution respectively, who would say they were satisfied that Mr O’Dowd was suffering from a mental disorder at the time.
In his evidence in court, Det GDA Basil Grimes, of Raheny Garda Station, told Ms Murphy that Paul Smith was working at the Elphin Bar in Ballydoyle on January 28, 2021, when Neil O’Dowd entered the premises just after 1pm entered. Mr O’Dowd had previously worked there as a barman and it would not be unusual for him to be on call.
Detective Garda said Mr O’Dowd had previously engaged in conversation with Paul Smith when, “without warning”, he stabbed Mr Smith several times with a large knife. When another employee tried to intervene, the knife was dropped from the hands of the accused. Det Gda Grimes said Mr O’Dowd began smashing glasses over Mr Smith’s head.
The disturbance went into the car park but Mr O’Dowd went back to the pub where he picked up two steak knives. When he returned to the car park, he had a knife in both hands and continued to stab Mr Smith repeatedly. Det Gda Grimes said Mr Smith attempted to defend himself with his hands but Mr O’Dowd continued to strike until the knife broke.
The accused then continued to attack Paul Smith with a brush and mop handle kept in the car park. Gardaí arrived at the scene a short time later and pepper spray was used to subdue Mr O’Dowd, who was subsequently arrested, Detective Garda said.
Det Gda Grimes said that in his interview with Gardaí, Paul Smith said that he was standing in the middle of the lounge when Neil O’Dowd entered. He said it would not be unusual for the accused to make a phone call on the way out, but went on to ask Mr Smith why [Mr Smith] Went to Mauritius on honeymoon. The detective guard said that Mr. Smith had not gone on his honeymoon to Mauritius.
Mr Smith told Gardai that he then went to a customer and when he went to the cash desk to collect the notebook he saw Mr O’Dowd holding a large knife. Mr Smith told Gardai that when he asked Mr O’Dowd what he was doing the accused said: “You killed that girl in Mauritius” before swinging the knife and stabbing him repeatedly.
Ms Murphy told the jury that Mr Smith had been diagnosed with Dr Dr, a consultant in emergency medicine at Beaumont Hospital. Michael Quirke, who outlined the injuries sustained. In a statement read to the jury by Ms Murphy, the consultant said Mr Smith had suffered a total of 19 blows to various parts of the body including his shoulders, chest and arms. A CAT scan showed evidence of a pseudoaneurysm in his left artery, which required a stent. Mr Smith also suffered a deep wound to his left hand which required plastic surgery.
Gda Grimes said the accused was taken to Clontarf Garda Station following his arrest. He was interviewed and indicated that he heard voices in his head and told Gardai that he was bipolar and was on medication. He said he remembered having a fight with Paul Smith, but did not know what it was about and said what happened was “all a blur”.
In her interview, Gda Grimes said Mr Smith said he had a feeling of sympathy but also anger towards the accused, who he said he would see as a good friend. They would often drink after work and he would drop the accused home.
During the interview Mr O’Dowd said he believed in conspiracies, talked about jumping in front of a bus, told Gardai he was paranoid and said he thought his TV had crashed, detectives Garda said.
Under cross-examination from Bernard Condon SC for the defence, Det GDA Grimes agreed that in his statement to Gardai, Mr Smith had spoken “incredibly sensitively” about Mr O’Dowd and described him as “a good Described as “all mate”.
The hearing continued in front of Mr Justice Paul McDermott and the jury on Wednesday.