A 20-year-old woman has been found guilty of seven counts of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to her mother following a four-day trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.
Barbie Kardashian, who was born male but identifies as female, and who has a certificate from the Department of Social Protection which recognises she is female, had threatened to torture and murder her mother, the court heard.
After four hours of deliberation, a jury of six women and six men on Monday returned unanimous guilty verdicts in three of the seven counts, and they returned majority guilty verdicts in the remaining four counts, in respect of Kardashian’s mother.
The accused, of no fixed abode, had pleaded not guilty to a total of seven counts of threatening to kill her mother, Maria Luque, at Coovagh House, Limerick, on dates in 2020.
She was found not guilty by unanimous verdict of an additional four charges of threatening to kill social care worker, Michael Mannix, at Coovagh House, on dates in 2019 and 2020.
All of the alleged threats were made while Kardashian was, by order of the High Court, residing at Coovagh House, one of three secure units in the State for children aged 11-17 with serious behavioural problems.
Kardashian’s barrister, Mark Nicholas SC, accepted she told staff at Coovagh House, during a meeting to plan her release into the community as she had turned 18, that she planned to travel to her mother’s house, overpower her and torture her with a knife, a screwdriver and boiling water.
Mr Nicholas accepted that Kardashian told staff: “I’d want to put her through lots of torture, fear and humiliation.” Kardashian added that she only planned to exit her mother’s house once she had been satisfied she had left her mother to “bleed out”, by taking her pulse to ensure she was dead.
In his closing speech last Friday, Mr Nicholas argued Kardashian’s alleged plan was “fantasy” and that her social care workers did not immediately alert gardaí about the alleged threats.
He said some witnesses who had been involved in his client’s care, including Mr Mannix, agreed under cross examination that Kardashian been diagnosed with “narcissistic personality disorder” and that she would engage in “shock behaviour” in order “to get attention” and they were aware she had suffered alleged abuse as a child.
Mr Nicholas said his client had experienced a “horrible” life, and she had been in State care since she was 10 years old.
‘Absence of alarm’
The defence barrister told the jury Kardashian had been “invited into a safe and non-judgmental” environment at Coovagh House and encouraged to share her emotions, “but this promised safe place offered to a vulnerable, damaged kid, turns out to be ‘the dock’”.
He reiterated there had been an “absence of alarm” in Coovagh about Kardashians’ alleged threats until, he said, it was time for her to be released into the community, almost two years after she made the first alleged threat to kill Mr Mannix, in January 2019.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said it as a “very, very unusual case” and he said he had “concerns” Kardashian might, at some point, “be left to their own devices” after her sentence is served.
“I’d like the benefit of a probation report to give the court some insight into what the long-term situation might be for this young lady, I would like to see if the probation service would have any guidance for the court,” said Judge O’Donnell.
Mr Nicholas agreed and reiterated Kardashian had “been in care since she was 10, with little worldly experience”.
The judge ordered a psychological assessment on Kardashian and a probation report and remanded the accused in custody for sentence on July 28th.