Jury told to consider a lesser verdict in Dublin murder trial
on 13/03/2013 17:04:34
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan told the jury that they should find Tanya Doyle not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility if they believed she was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing.
Mr Justice Sheehan said they must consider diminished responsibility even if Ms Doyle's actions on that evening were pre-meditated.
Ms Doyle (aged 40) of Pairc Gleann Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght has pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Byrne (aged 48) at that address on September 4, 2009.
Mr Brendan Grehan SC defending told the jury at the start of the trial that it was admitted his client alone killed Mr Byrne and the issue in the trial would be Ms Doyle's mental state at the time she carried out the stabbing.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul O' Connell previously told the court his initial opinion was that the accused suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane at the time she killed her husband.
But Dr O' Connell, who was called as a defence witness, said he changed this view saying she had schizoaffective disorder that would diminish her responsibility for the killing.
Professor Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital giving evidence for the prosecution said if Ms Doyle had a mental disorder or not, he did not think it played a major part in the alleged offence.
Dr Bernard Condon SC prosecuting told the jury in his closing speech that Ms Doyle was a devious, calculating, vicious person.
Mr Condon said Ms Doyle was a deeply unreliable person and they could not believe anything she said.
Mr Condon said the jury would have to make up their own minds after hearing conflicting evidence from two forensic psychiatrists.
He said she had a history of abusing many different kinds of drugs over a significant period of time and Prof. Kennedy said intoxication may be an issue.
Mr Condon told the jury intoxication is not a mental disorder whether by alcohol or drugs.
He said common-or-garden motives were a feature in the case and that Ms Doyle wanted her husband off the pitch and told a doctor she would stab him and plead insanity.
In his closing speech, Mr Brendan Grehan said that when Ms Byrne told a doctor in 2000 that she was going to stab her husband and plead insanity she was in the throes of mental illness.
Mr Grehan said for 20 years she was given the same diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
He said it was not an insanity case and that there was no easy option for the jury saying the most they could do was return a verdict of manslaughter.
Mr Grehan noted that intoxication was not a defence but nobody was saying Ms Doyle was intoxicated.
He said planning does not mean a mental disorder was not operating at the time of the killing.
He also said Ms Doyle had not been taking anti-psychotic medication for three weeks prior to the incident.
Mr Grehan also said the fact someone is manipulative and devious does not show they are perfectly sane.
He asked the jury if it was the case that Ms Doyle had fooled every doctor she met except for Professor Harry Kennedy.
The court heard Ms Doyle was hospitalised on 15 occasions over a 10-year period and her average admission was between a week and a month.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis previously gave evidence the cause of death was multiple stab wounds, with in excess of 60 stab wounds, including defensive wounds.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan will continue charging the jury of seven men and five women tomorrow