O'Donnell `spied' on naked woman


BRENDAN O'Donnell told a doctor he had spied on a woman while she was undressing and was very preoccupied with pornographic magazines while in prison in England, the Central Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Dr Henry Kennedy, a consultant forensic psychiatrist in London, said Mr O'Donnell had spoken to him of having a high sex drive and bizarre sexual fantasies. He had also spoken of stealing knickers from washing lines when he was a child.

The witness told Mr Peter Charleton SC, prosecuting, that he had interviewed Mr O'Donnell on November 26th and 27th, 1994, and again on January 6th last. He had also read relevant sections of the Book of Evidence, trial transcripts and extensive medical and psychiatric notes on Mr O'Donnell.

He believed Mr O'Donnell did not suffer from schizophrenia or any other major mental illness. He believed Mr O'Donnell had a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), "a severe disorder in its own right", along with features of an anti social personality disorder.

It was also his view that Mr O'Donnell knew the nature and quality of his acts and knew whether acts were right or wrong.

Dr Kennedy was giving evidence on the 48th day of the trial of Brendan O'Donnell (22), a native of Co Clare but of no fixed abode, who has denied 12 charges relating to events in the west of Ireland in 1994, including charges of murder, false imprisonment and kidnapping.

In court yesterday, Dr Kennedy said Mr O'Donnell had been very disturbed from a very early age. His development was characteristic of that of persons with Personality Disorders (PDs) and not characteristic of the way psychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, developed.

He said characteristics of BPD included rapid, brief shifts off mood, a tendency towards regression and to express triumph, repeatedly seeking to deceive others and a self dramatising fantasy life linking into psycho sexual problems. There was also a tendency towards pseudo hallucinations, while schizophrenics really believed they were hearing real voices.

Dr Kennedy said Mr O'Donnell had told him he was hearing voices and, when asked where, had replied in his own head. The witness had concluded these were pseudo hallucinations.

Cross examined by Mr Tom O'Connell BL, defending, Dr Kennedy said he could not fully accept a suggestion that all the evidence pointed to Mr O'Donnell having had a psychosis in 1988.

Dr Kennedy agreed he had made his diagnosis of BPD without having material relating to Mr O'Donnell from Ballinasloe mental hospital.