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Man accused of attempting to murder sister searched for 'jugular vein' online before attack

Daniel O’Connell admitted in interviews that he had tried to kill his sister by stabbing her a number of times.

Image: William Murphy via Flickr

THE COMPUTER OF a man with autism, charged with attempting to murder his pregnant sister, had been searched for ‘murder suicide’ and ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ before he stabbed her in her Dublin home as she recovered from cancer.

Daniel O’Connell (33) with an address at Rosemount, Newpark, Co Kilkenny has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Olivia O’Connell in a case, where the jury may find him ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’.

O’Connell admitted during garda interviews that he had tried to kill her by stabbing her a number of times on 25 April, 2016 in her home at Scholarstown Park, Scholarstown Road, Knocklyon. He said he had decided to ‘do away with her’ so she wouldn’t raise her child in Dublin.

Garda Niall Russell told the Central Criminal Court this morning that O’Connell’s computer was searched as part of the investigation.

He told Michael Bowman SC, prosecuting, that there were 17 searches for ‘murder suicide’ between January 2016 and 13 April, 2016.

He also testified that there was a search on 29 February 2016 for a case where a man was found not guilty of killing his mother by reason of insantiy.

‘Jugular vein’

Garda Russell said there were 12 searches in relation to general killings between 9 January 2016 and April 2016. There were also searches for ‘jugular vein’ and ‘wrist’ three days before the incident.

Bowman opened the trial to the Central Criminal Court yesterday. He explained that Ms O’Connell was 26 and a half weeks pregnant when her younger brother arrived at her house unexpectedly that afternoon.

Ms O’Connell, now 42, told gardaí that he was almost tearful when he arrived. She knew he had autism and enquired about how he had got to her house. She was suffering from chemotherapy symptoms as a consequence of cancer and was in her dressing gown.

“She was aware of the difficulties he had for quite some time, and of an unnatural and almost pathological dislike of Dublin and Dublin people,” said Bowman, explaining that he had developed this feeling years earlier during a school tour to the capital.

He said the accused went upstairs to use the toilet and Ms O’Connell heard a bang.

“He came downstairs, wearing latex gloves,” explained Bowman. “He had a knife. He stabbed her three to four times in the back.”

She eventually broke free and ran to a neighbour’s house. He said that the accused was still in the area when the gardaí arrived and that he explained his ‘full motivation and elaborate preparation’.

‘Very upset’

Garda Russell yesterday told Bowman that he had taken a statement from Ms O’Connell. She said she felt that what he did was was premeditated and that she thought she was going to be killed.

She explained that her brother had always had a negative obsession with Dublin and was very upset when she’d married a Dubliner 10 years earlier.

She’d been taken to hospital by ambulance and had her four wounds dressed and received stitches. She described muscular pain as result of the assault and restriction in movement of her arm from where he had held her. She said her wounds were painful and uncomfortable and that her body went into shock.

She also attended her maternity hospital, where she received confirmation that her child was ok. The court heard that the child was born healthy.

The prosecution has now closed its case and the defence has called a consultant psychiatrist to give evidence.

The trial continues this afternoon before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.

Comments have been disabled as the case is still before the courts

Read: Man accused of attempted murder of sister as she was ‘carrying a Dublin baby’>

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Natasha Reid

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