Family of Gareth Kelly who was stabbed to death over a parking space dispute tells court of devastation – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Family of Gareth Kelly who was stabbed to death over a parking space dispute tells court of devastation




Image source: RTE

The family of a 38-yr-old Dublin man who was stabbed to death by a woman he had never met have told the Central Criminal Court of their devastation over his death.

The court heard victim impact evidence at a hearing in February 2020 at the hearing of 41-yr-old Christina Anderson, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility for Gareth Kelly.

Ms Anderson had a psychiatric history and had psychotic episodes due to bipolar mood disorder. Since the murder she has been a patient at the Central Psychiatric Clinic.

Ms Anderson, of Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, Dublin 22, hit Mr Kelly five times at around 7am on 25 February 2020 as he tried to start his car outside her home. She was due to undergo treatment at a mental health clinic later that day and her family were concerned about her erratic behaviour.

Mr. Kelly had parked overnight in a lot near Anderson’s home, which happened occasionally to Ms. Anderson’s annoyance.

Mr Kelly, who had never met Ms Anderson, was trying to start his car when she approached him and hit him before returning home. Then she returned and stabbed again.

At today’s sentencing hearing, the court was told Ms Anderson had a long history of bipolar disorder and suffered paranoid delusions in the days and weeks before the killing.

She also believed that Michael Jackson would come to their house and that they lived in the movie “The Truman Show”, reports RTE.

In a victim impact statement today, Mr Kelly’s partner and mother-of-three, Maria Murphy, described the pain of telling her two older children that their father had been killed. She said it was the worst day of her life.

Her youngest child was just a week away from his first birthday when Mr Kelly was killed and she would one day have to explain how he died. She said her daughters’ screams that day would stay with her forever.

Ms Murphy said her partner went to work that morning and later saw the Gardai activity across from her home. She texted Mr Kelly to say something terrible had happened across the road, but when he didn’t reply she had “a bad feeling that something terrible had happened” to him, reports RTe.

She said she is now “on auto pilot” and feels like she is having a bad dream.

She had the constant question of why he was killed, and she still wonders why he was killed over a parking space.

She also described the trauma of seeing her partner’s death on CCTV during the trial last year and said her health had suffered since then.

“My Gareth died alone and scared in the worst possible way over a parking space, yes a parking space. He did not have a chance. She killed my Gareth, she killed my baby and I could not save him, she destroyed my life,” she said, reports RTE.

Prosecutors read a victim impact statement from Mr Kelly’s mother in court. Noleen Kelly described the trip to Dublin when she heard about her son’s murder as the worst and longest trip ever, praying it wasn’t true.

She described how her husband, Gareth’s father, was later hospitalized with Covid and was left alone in hospital for months mourning the loss of his son. She said he later died “broken hearted” in November 2021, reports RTE.

“There are no words to describe how much I miss Gareth,” she said. She said the family was being affected by their own life sentence, reports RTE.

His sister Lorraine Kelly said her brother was a hardworking man who worked two jobs to support his seven children.

He “loved life and was always smiling, despite the challenges and struggles of life as an adult and parent and he was smashing it. He used to laugh at me when I was stressed and would tell me to slow down and enjoy life and don’t let it pass you by,” she said, reports RTE.

“My dad died a broken man and never got answers. I could never find the words to truly explain the loss from our lives,” she said, reports RTE.

Judge Karen O’Connor thanked Mr Kelly’s partner and sister for giving insights about his life and his overall personality.

The case was adjourned until May 22 for further statements from the prosecution and defence.

Ms Anderson will be sentenced at a later date.

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