Man found not guilty of Dublin murder by reason of insanity sent to Central Mental Hospital

Victim: Michael Gannon
Victim: Michael Gannon

A man found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of a 55-year old Dublin granddad has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital.

Dragos Nica (30), of Mourne Park, Skerries, Co Dublin had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of Michael Gannon at Mourne Park, Skerries, Co Dublin on November 14th, 2013. 
The jury were told previously that on the evening of the attack, Mr Gannon was babysitting his daughter Jade's two young children and a neighbour's child at Jade's house in Mourne Park, next door to Mr Nica's house.
The court heard that Mr Nica knew Jade Gannon before the killing.
Mr Gannon was making dinner when one of the children told him a man was looking in the window of the living-room.
Mr Gannon opened the door and was stabbed to death by the accused man, the jury were told. The court heard that the accused delusionally believed he had been deliberately poisoned by Jade Gannon.
Taking to the stand at the Central Criminal Court today, Dr Sally Linehan told counsel for the State, Patrick Treacy SC, that Mr Nica suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
"It is my view Mr Nica suffers from paranoid schizophrenia characterised by delusions and more commonly, hallucinations," she said.
Dr Linehan described Mr Nica as "polite" throughout interviews she carried out with him since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
"Mr Nica was well kempt, polite and his mood appeared normal," she continued.
Dr Linehan told the court that Mr Nica denied himself feeling depressed and that he continued to express abnormal beliefs.
"I did note that he did express abnormal beliefs leading to the index offence that he had been pricked in his finger," she said.
"He (Mr Nica) identified he had benefited from medication," she said.
She concluded: "Mr Nica is in receipt of multi disciplinary treatment and he remains in a secure unit."
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that he is satisfied that Mr Nica requires treatment in a designated centre.
"Mr Nica (needs) to be medicated in a supervised way as opposed to by himself," he said.
"The special verdict was the only verdict available to them (the jury). I'm satisfied from the report that Mr Nica is suffering from a mental disorder and that the only way he can be treated is in a designated centre," he said.
"(I will) make an order committing him to the Central Mental Hospital," he said.
"This is a (verdict of) not guilty by reason of insanity. Families don't have the opportunity to give impact evidence," he added.
"I want them (Gannon family) to understand I understand the depth of this - it has been a very difficult procedure, in particular for the victims. For what it's worth, I wish them well," he said.
He concluded: "It's difficult for Mr Nica's families but their loss is not in tune with Mr Gannon's family."

By Anne Sharkey