Fitness to plead issue could arise in trial over fatal Dublin stabbing

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A fitness to plead issue could be raised in the trial of a 38-year-old woman charged with stabbing a man to death in a west Dublin suburb.

Garreth Kelly, 39, died following an incident in the Brownsbarn Estate, in Kingswood, Co Dublin, on the morning of February 25th last.

The father-of-seven from Tallaght, who had been living in Clondalkin, had been trying to jump-start his car to go to work.

He was staying over with his partner Maria in another house in the estate in a small cul de sac.

At about 7am when he sustained stab wounds, collapsed and died on the street between two cars.

Mother-of-three Christina Anderson, with an address at Brownsbarn Wood, Kingswood, was arrested and held at Clondalkin Garda station. She was remanded in custody after she appeared before Dublin District Court on February 26th charged with Mr Kelly’s murder.

She has been held in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) since that hearing.

Medically unfit

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Ms Anderson was too unwell and medically unfit to face her next 12 scheduled appearances, and also the latest one Wednesday when a sick note was furnished to Judge Carol Anne Coolican.

A State solicitor told the court that she remains in the CMH and formal directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions have been issued for trial on indictment.

This means the case will go before a judge and jury in the Central Criminal Court.

The State asked for a two week adjournment and asked if the defence could confirm if there will be a fitness to plead issue.

Solicitor Jenny McGeever, for Ms Anderson, said it was thought it would certainly be a matter that will arise.

Ms Anderson was further remanded in custody in her absence to appear again on September 2nd pending the preparation of a book of evidence. However, it was not anticipated it will be ready then, the judge was told.

The State also asked that if there was a fitness to plead issue that could be raised on the next date.

Earlier, the court was told it was a complex case: 140 statements had been taken and electronic evidence was obtained.

On April 1, her solicitor had said her treating doctor had said “she is on the verge of being well”. The court had also heard she was anxious to appear in court.

At her first hearing on February 26th, Detective Sergeant Dara Kenny had told the court Ms Anderson “made no reply” to the charge.

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