Kilkenny man found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

Mairead Moran was stabbed to death in 2014

A Kilkenny man has been found not guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend by reason of insanity.

Shane Smyth of McGuinness House, Evans Lane stabbed Mairead Moran to death at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny in May 2014.

The court heard he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and was convinced she was part of a conspiracy to steal his blood.

The 29-year-old has been in the Central Mental Hospital since his arrest.

During his trial both sides called mental health experts who agreed that at the time of the attack, he was not capable of forming the necessary criminal intent for murder.

The jurors returned with the special verdict after deliberating for less than an hour.

In urging the jurors to return the special verdict, his barrister said it was in the public interest and would not belittle the memory of Ms Moran.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan then told them an acquittal under this particular defence would not result in Mr Smyth being returned back to the community and that the court would have to decide the best course of action.