A father-of-seven was stabbed to death in a “totally random killing” after he parked without permission in a space belonging to the woman accused of his murder, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The court also heard that following the stabbing the accused, Christina Anderson, told her husband: ”I did it for us Mark, I did it for us, I did it for love, one of us is insane, Mark.”
Mother-of-three Christina Anderson (41) of Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, Dublin 24, is charged with murdering Gareth Kelly (39), who died from stab wounds following an incident at the estate on the morning of February 25, 2020. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Her trial is expected to last two weeks.
Patrick McGrath SC, for the prosecution, opened the trial on Friday morning, telling the jury that there is no disputing that Ms Anderson killed Mr Kelly. The issue, he told them, will be her state of mind at the time.
He said Ms Anderson had raised the issue of insanity and therefore the jury will hear evidence from two psychiatrists who disagree about Ms Anderson’s state of mind at the time of the stabbing and whether she was labouring under legal insanity.
The prosecution say that she is guilty of murder, which Mr McGrath said is the killing by one person of another “where the acts which caused the killing were carried out with the intention to kill or cause serious injury”.
He said that the accused person is presumed to be sane and it is therefore up to the defence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that she was legally insane at the time.
Turning to the facts of the case, he said that Mr Kelly, who lived near to where Ms Anderson lived, had parked his car in a space that was reserved for people living or staying at the Anderson home. Mr McGrath said that the space was sometimes used by other people without permission “to the annoyance of Ms Anderson”.
At about 7am Mr Kelly was going to work but was unable to start his car. CCTV footage showed him getting out of the car, lifting the bonnet and attaching a power pack to charge the battery before sitting back into the driver’s seat. Mr McGrath said: “The accused is seen coming out of her house in a dressing gown, it would appear she had a brief conversation with the deceased and she stabbed him and then ran back into her own house.”
Mr McGrath said the CCTV shows Mr Kelly getting out of his car clutching his chest and slowly falling to the ground. He added: “The accused is then seen coming out of her own house again and going back to the gap between her car and Mr Kelly’s car and making a number of movements which look like stabbing movements towards Mr Kelly. She is then seen to drop something as she goes back to her own house.”
As well as the CCTV, the jury will see footage taken from one neighbour’s mobile phone.
Mr Kelly was pronounced dead at the scene and a postmortem showed that he died of stab wounds to the upper body.
Gardai went to Ms Anderson’s home where they heard the accused say to her husband: “I did it for us Mark, I did it for us, I did it for love, one of us is insane, Mark.”
Ms Anderson, he said, is a married mother of three young children. She has a history of psychological or psychiatric difficulties and the jury will hear evidence of her behaviour in the days leading up to the killing, her state of mind at that time and some of her beliefs at the time including “beliefs that she was being persecuted by neighbours”.
The trial continues in front of Ms Justice Karen O’Connor and a jury of seven men and five women.