Woman Who Stabbed Father-of-Seven To Death Jailed For ‘Psychotic Episode’

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A woman who was undergoing a psychotic episode, due to bipolar affective disorder, has been given an eight-year prison sentence for stabbing a stranger to her, to death over three-years ago.

41-year-old Christina Anderson had never met 38-year-old father of seven Gareth Kelly when she approached him and stabbed him five times while he tried to start his car outside her home in the early morning of February 25th, 2020 in Brownbarn, Kingswood in Dublin.

She was initially charged with murder and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. More than a month into her trial, the DPP accepted a plea of guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility due to a mental disorder.

Ms Justice Karen O’Connor said the offence fell into the most serious category, but for the fact that Anderson’s responsibility was diminished by her mental condition.

She remarked that she committed a “fatal attack of a ferocious nature” on a man who she did not know as he sat in his car.

The judge added that her behaviour was “highly dominated by her mental condition.

At last month’s court hearing defence solicitor Michael O’Higgins outlined evidence of the “complete destruction” of his client’s mind in the lead-in to the stabbing incident.

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright diagnosed bipolar affective disorder and gave the opinion that she was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time of the killing.

Dr Wright said Anderson believed that Mr Kelly was a threat to her and her family and that by stabbing him she was protecting her family.

Mr O’Higgins said the actions of his client were “horrendous” but she was “very mentally ill” and in a “state of paranoia and persecution”.

Mr O’Higgins said her illness is so severe, that more than three years after the stabbing Anderson remains in the Central Mental Hospital undergoing treatment.