NewsCrime Desk

Pensioner killer had disturbing history of violence

Alan Cawley
Alan Cawley

EVIL pensioner killer Alan Cawley was accused of carrying out a disturbing and sickening attack on a vulnerable inmate while jailed in Castlerea prison’s A-Division.

Although a subsequent investigation found there was no evidence to substantiate such a claim, Cawley had to be moved from the A-Division to protection in the prison’s C-Division, over fears a number of inmates on the A were planning on “ripping him apart”.

Cawley’s taste for violence was well-known to people in Co. Mayo and his own parents previously got a barring order against him.

By 10 he was diagnosed with ‘Conduct Disorder’, after neighbours complained about his cruelty towards animals.

Cawley had 22 previous convictions during his life of crime in the west of Ireland. Six of his convictions were for theft and two were for unlawful possession of forged prescriptions for sleeping tablets.

In court, some of the symptoms of Cawley’s various disorders were revealed, including disturbed sexual preference and heightened sexual awareness.

He had described himself as 70 per cent gay.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright, called as a witness by the State, agreed with the defence that Cawley suffered from a mental disorder.

She told Tony McGillicuddy, BL, prosecuting, that she studied Mr Cawley’s medical and psychology records dating from when he was four years of age. She also interviewed the accused and his parents.

She said that she agreed with the diagnoses of both Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

However, she disagreed with his opinion that they were mental disorders under the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006.

She said that the types of disorders allowed under the act impaired a person’s capacity or ability to make decisions, to understand or remember information needed to make decisions, to weigh up the pros and cons of decisions, or to communicate them.

“It’s my view it’s not a mental disorder under the Act,” she said.

On the night of the double murder, witnesses described Cawley as behaving in a “crazy” manner.

He told some customers in a local pub that he was a junior doctor who would be carrying out the autopsies on any bodies found that night.

He also threatened to have one man “committed” with the help of Gardaí, warning the man’s wife that she was in danger otherwise. CCTV footage then captured him walking through the town and crossing paths with Jack Blaine around midnight.

Jack had crossed the road to Rocky’s Bar with his empty tea mug in his hand.

As was the norm, the barman then made him a cup of tea and carried it across the street, leaving it on his windowsill.

The barman noticed a young man interacting with Jack Blaine as he returned to his house.

However, he thought he was simply helping him across the street.