Man accused of sexual assault found not guilty by reason of insanity

Eight charges faced man (24) remanded for assessment to Central Mental Hospital

Judge Brian O’Callaghan was told a place was available in the Central Mental Hospital for a man who ran naked down a street in Cork, exposed himself, masturbated and then sexually assaulted a woman. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Judge Brian O’Callaghan was told a place was available in the Central Mental Hospital for a man who ran naked down a street in Cork, exposed himself, masturbated and then sexually assaulted a woman. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

A 24-year-old man, who chased two women down a street while naked and later told gardaí that he had intended raping another woman, has been found not guilty of a number of offences by reason of insanity.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been remanded to the Central Mental Hospital for assessment after a jury took just three hours and 17 minutes to find him not guilty by reason of insanity of all charges.

The man had been charged with eight offences including sexual assault, entering as a trespasser with intent to commit assault, two counts of exposing himself, one of masturbation and three of criminal damage.

The man had replied “not guilty by reason of insanity” when he was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday before the jury began hearing evidence from investigating officer, Det Sgt Kieran O’Sullivan.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said the man ran naked down a street in Cork at lunch hour on January 12th, 2019, exposing himself to two women and masturbating before breaking into an apartment and sexually assaulting a woman.

He said the man grabbed the woman’s breasts and vagina and she struggled to flee to safety as the defendant tried to drag her back in to her apartment with the intention of raping her.

Mental disorder

The facts in relation to the charges were not in dispute but the question the jury had to decide was whether or not he was suffering from insanity at the time and was thereby not guilty by reason of insanity.

The defence called consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr John Francis Kelly, who concluded that the accused was driven by a functioning mental disorder at the time of the incidents.

He said he was aware that while the defendant was in custody in the period after his arrest for these offences, he stripped naked on the landing of the prison on a number of occasions, putting himself at some vulnerability.

Dr Kelly said the defendant did respond well to anti-psychotic medication and he concluded the defendant was suffering the mental disorder of psychosis during the incident in January.

The court had earlier heard from expert prosecution witness, the consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright, who told the court that in her view, the defendant “was psychotic at the time of the alleged offences”.

Following the jury’s finding, Judge Brian O’Callaghan was told a place was available in the Central Mental Hospital and he remanded the man for assessment there to return to Cork Circuit Criminal Court on November 20th when it’s expected the case will be finalised.