Man ‘unable to refrain’ from attempt to kill partner with hammer

Tomas Gajowniczek ‘delusional’ when he attacked Alicja Kalinowska, psychiatrist says

Tomas Gajowniczek has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Alicja Kalinowska (pictured). Photograph: Collins Courts.

Tomas Gajowniczek has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Alicja Kalinowska (pictured). Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A man who denies trying to murder his partner by stuffing underwear in her mouth and hitting her with a hammer is suffering from a mental illness, a psychiatrist has told his trial.

Dr Conor O’Neill, a consultant psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital, said Tomas Gajowniczek ’s illness made him unable to refrain from his actions. This mean he qualified for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, Dr O’Neill said.

Mr Gajowniczek (37), of The Ice Rink Apartments, Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Alicja Kalinowska (30) at their home on June 16th, 2016. He has also pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ms Kalinowska on the same date.

Dr O’Neill told Ronan Munro SC, defending, that the accused has a delusional disorder, which is a mental illness as defined by the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act.

He said Mr Gajowniczek believed that his partner was trying to drug or poison him and his baby when he is alleged to have assaulted her. This belief, the doctor said, was delusionary.

Smoking hash

Mr Munro said that the prosecution will say that his client was not suffering from a mental illness but was smoking hash and got angry.

Dr O’Neill said he considered that possibility but a year after Mr Gajowniczek was admitted to a drug-free, high-support unit of Cloverhill Prison, he was showing the same symptoms and delusionary beliefs.

He said he would expect symptoms to diminish over such a length of time without access to drugs. He also excluded the possibility that the accused was “making it up”, saying there was evidence that he began displaying symptoms months before the alleged assault. Such a ruse would have taken many months of planning, he said.

He added that it is possible or even likely that Mr Gajowniczek was smoking cannabis at the time but added that mentally ill people commonly use drugs and this does not preclude a diagnosis of mental illness.

Earlier, the trial heard that Mr Gajowniczek told gardaí that he “exploded” because he believed Ms Kalinowska, the mother of his child, was poisoning his food.

Blood sample

The accused asked that a blood sample be taken to find out what was in his system when he was being interviewed at Pearse Street Garda station on June 16th, 2016.

Det Garda Nathan McKenna told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that during his third and fourth interviews the accused man told gardaí he was feeling much better, having earlier felt as if he was on drugs as he was sweating and unable to think clearly.

He accused Ms Kalinowska of drugging him and their baby by putting something in their food and drink. “She was poisoning me and now I have exploded,” he claimed.

Garda Colm Reynolds told Mr Munro that gardaí did not take a sample and that he did not think at the time that it was relevant to their investigation.

The trial continues at the Central Criminal Court.