Murder trial hears friends were concerned about accused’s state of mind – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Murder trial hears friends were concerned about accused’s state of mind




Image source: RTE

Friends of Christina Anderson were concerned about her mental state in the weeks and days before she stabbed a man after he parked in their car park, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

Maria McCormick said at Ms Anderson’s murder trial that she had received messages from the defendants that were “laden with conspiracy theories”” and did not appear to have been sent by her.

She thought her friend was not well and was shocked when she learned that Ms. Anderson had stabbed a man to death one day after her last text message exchange.

Ms McCormick’s partner, Paul Dalton, said a series of emails sent by Ms Anderson seemed out of place, suggested she was paranoid and some of her words did not seem possible or connected to what she was saying. it was really happening. “We were very worried about her and worried about her state of mind,” he said, reports RTE.

Christina Anderson, mother of three, 41, of Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, Dublin 22, is charged with the murder of Gareth Kelly, 39, who was stabbed five times as he tried to start his car outside the home of Ms Anderson on the morning of February 25, 2020.

She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Opening the trial last week, State Attorney Patrick McGrath SC said there is no doubt that Ms Anderson stabbed Mr Kelly to death. The question to be decided by the jury will be her state of mind at that moment.

Ms McCormick told David Perry BL, on behalf of the defence, that she had been friends with Ms Anderson for many years, that he thought of her a lot and was “full of admiration for her”, reports RTE.

A month before the stabbing, the defendant sent a WhatsApp group message that read: “In case I go missing, it’s the neighbours who did it.” She claimed that a lawsuit she was taking against one of her neighbours was “turning into a criminal one” and added: “It will be all over the media next year and they will be forced out,” reports RTE.

Ms McCormick said the defendant had sent more messages about criminal activity involving her neighbors, her possible disappearance and her state of anxiety about what she said was happening.

The witness knew that Ms. Anderson had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On February 23, 2020, two days before the stabbing, Ms. Anderson sent Ms. McCormick a series of emails between the defendant and his attorney in which she wrote: “Just in case anything happens to me, I want justice, I want the truth to come out and the crooks to be exposed,” reports RTE.

She asked her lawyer for a bodyguard for her family because, she said, she could not trust the GardaĂ­. She described how she had watched her neighbors and said, “Nobody believes me. I tried to tell mom and Mark [her husband] and they think I’m having a breakdown and won’t listen to me,” reports RTE.

The lawyer had responded to her emails saying that he was worried about her and telling her to make an appointment with her doctor. Mrs. Anderson responded, “OMG. You’re in on it too,” reports RTE.

McCormick said she found the emails troubling: “They didn’t seem like her personality at all. I thought she was unwell,” reports RTE.

The next day, Ms. McCormick asked Ms. Anderson how she was doing, but her responses were “really confused” and disconnected.

Dalton told Perry that he had several conversations with Anderson over the years about her mental health. She was sincere, she told him many things, including that on some occasion she suffered from hallucinations.

Garda Erica Delaney told Mr Perry that she was the jailer at Clondalkin Garda station from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. when Ms. Anderson was arrested after the stabbing. She said that Ms. Anderson refused to take the medicines, saying that the doctor she prescribed them was the devil and that the medicines were poison. Gda Delaney said that at one point Ms Anderson was pacing the cell with her hood up “throwing air punches in the cell”.

Shortly after midnight, she asked to be taken to the bathroom, but once she was out of her cell, she ran to the waiting area and attempted to exit through a back door. Gda Delaney described her “frantically” pressing buttons and switches as she tried to open the locked door.

After 1 a.m. Mrs. Anderson took off all her clothes, complained of a bad smell coming from the toilet and stuck a tissue up her nose to block the smell. At 4.30 a.m. police noticed Ms Anderson removing something from the toilet in the cell and when she went in to investigate she found that she had taken washers and bolts from the toilet and set them on the floor. She said she was “digging for treasure” and the garda noticed that her hands were “covered in dirt from having put them into the toilet”, reports RTE.

She later observed Ms. Anderson cleaning the toilet with a sock and then wearing the sock around her head. Gda Delaney said that at no time during that night did she see the defendant sleep.

The trial continues before Judge Karen O’Connor and a jury of seven men and five women.

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