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Court hears man accused of Kilkenny woman's murder had been 'freaking her out'

Security staff testified that the accused had been ‘hanging around’ the victim’s workplace.

Image: Facebook

A KILKENNY WOMAN told security staff that the man accused of her murder was “hanging” around her workplace and “freaking her out” weeks before he stabbed her to death, a jury has heard.

Shane Smyth (29) with an address at Evans Lane, Kilkenny is charged with murdering Mairead Moran (26) on 8 May 2014 at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny City.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court Mr Smyth pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Moran by reason of insanity.

The jury has been told that two consultant psychiatrists prepared reports indicating that Mr Smyth was suffering from a form of psychosis at the time.

Security guards 

Today prosecution counsel Mr John O’Kelly SC read two statements given by security guards from Market Cross Shopping Centre into evidence.

The court heard that on 3 April 2014 security guard John O’Donoghue was working at the shopping centre and he got a call at 8.30pm from Mairead Moran who was working in the Holland and Barrett store.

The deceased told Mr O’Donoghue her ex-boyfriend was “hanging around the centre” and “freaking her out”.

Mr O’Donoghue said he had a security camera on him and “knew him to see”.

He informed his colleague Liam Dwyer about him and in the meantime Mr O’Donoghue went down to the Holland and Barrett shop and let his “presence be seen”.

When Mr O’Donoghue asked Ms Moran what was going on, she said she knew “this fella” and had dated him seven years ago.

“He was making strange comments and freaking her out,” read Mr O’Kelly from the statement.

Security guard Liam Dwyer then asked Mr Smyth to leave the building.

“I saw a picture of Shane Smyth in The Kilkenny People newspaper and recognised him as the man who she said was freaking her out on April 3 2014,” read counsel.

Second statement

A second statement given by a second security guard Mr Richard O’Donoghue was then read by Mr O’Kelly to the court.

The court heard that on 10 March 2014 he was requested to remove Shane Smyth from the centre and he believed it was Mairead Moran who made the phone call to security.

Mr O’Donoghue spoke to Mairead Moran after Shane Smyth left the centre and she told him that the accused was “freaking her out” and he “kept walking up and down outside” the shop.

“I advised her she may need to tell the guards,” read Mr O’Kelly.

The trial continues.

Comments have been disabled for this post as it concerns an active court case. 

Read: Man (59) arrested after over 10,000 tranquilizer tablets seized in Limerick

Read: Lord Lucan declared dead 42 years after he mysteriously disappeared

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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