Psychiatrist tells Colm Horkan murder trial jury that accused was not psychotic at time of shooting

Nov 7, 2022 17:11 By Shannonside News
Psychiatrist tells Colm Horkan murder trial jury that accused was not psychotic at time of shooting Psychiatrist tells Colm Horkan murder trial jury that accused was not psychotic at time of shooting
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Closing arguments are due to get underway tomorrow.

Stephen Silver, who denies murdering Detective Garda Colm Horkan, was not psychotic and was not suffering from delusions at the time of the shooting, a psychiatrist has told the trial jury.

The Central Criminal Court trial is now entering the final stages following the close of the defence case, the jury also heard today.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the seven men and five women that the final stage will involve closing submissions by lawyers for the prosecution and defence followed by the judge's charge in which he will set out the legal parameters by which the jury will decide the case. Mr Silver accepts that he shot and killed Gda Horkan but Dr Brenda Wright, a psychiatrist called by his defence, said that the accused was suffering at the time from a mental disorder that diminished his responsibility. Professor Harry Kennedy, who was called by the prosecution, disagreed with Dr Wright and said that Mr Silver's mental capacity was intact at the time of the killing.


Mr Silver (46), a motorbike mechanic from Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Detective Garda Horkan knowing or being reckless as to whether he was a member of An Garda Siochana acting in accordance with his duty. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, at Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on 17 June 2020. On the final day of evidence in the trial, Professor Harry Kennedy told defence counsel Roisin Lacey SC that in killing Garda Horkan, Mr Silver carried out a complex sequence of actions which are evidence of his capacity to form an intent. He said Mr Silver had described how he gained control of Garda Horkan's gun during a struggle, pulled the trigger, used the butt of the gun to strike Garda Horkan on the head and tried to strike him a second time. He then described pulling the trigger a number of times, aiming at the trunk rather than the head or feet. Prof Kennedy said there were a range of options open to the accused, including firing into the air or throwing the gun away. Ms Lacey put it to the witness that "shooting a gun is simply pulling a trigger".

Prof Kennedy replied: "It's not just the act of using your index finger but of holding it, aiming it, firing it again and again, deciding where to aim and fire. It's the perception, understanding and reasoning, all those things, actions, mental appraisals, appreciation of the situation, all of that."

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