Man who stabbed stranger found not guilty by reason of insanity

Gerard Dowling (40) assaulted the man in a Kilkenny shopping centre in 2016

File image of Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny city.

File image of Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny city.

 

A jury at the Central Criminal Court has returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity in the trial of a man with paranoid schizophrenia who stabbed a stranger in the head in a shopping centre.

Gerard Dowling (40), of The Sycamores, Freshford Road, Kilkenny city, had been charged with the attempted murder of 60-year-old Simon Bourke at Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny city on July 13th, 2016.

He was also charged with assaulting Mr Bourke causing him harm and with producing a knife during the same incident.

He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges.

Both the prosecution and defence agreed that Mr Dowling was insane at the time of the assault and that under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act he qualified for the “special verdict” of not guilty by reason of insanity.

After 40 minutes of deliberations following a four-day trial, the jury of six men and six women returned the special verdict and Judge Paul McDermott directed that Mr Dowling be admitted to the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

Mr Dowling will return to court on November 7th, when a doctor from the CMH will present a report to the court and recommend appropriate ongoing treatment.