« BackKerry man found not guilty by reason of insanity over hostage ordeal

A Kerry farm worker who subjected an elderly man, his daughter and her fiancé to a terrifying double barrelled shotgun hostage ordeal in CountyClare has walked free from court.

Gavel 4At Ennis Circuit Court, the jury found 50 year old Tom Howard of Gortnaminch, Listowel, not guilty by reason of insanity at the time of eight separate charges arising from the three hour drama at Donnybrook House, Sixmilebridge on the 2nd of July last.

During the incident, Tom Howard wearing a balaclava and armed with a shotgun took 68 year old gardener, Tadhg Corbett hostage in the grounds of the home of retired solicitor and former President of the Law Society, Patrick Glynn.

When Mr Corbett’s daughter Elaine and her fiancé Declan Finn came to the home, Tom Howard emerged from behind trees at gunpoint.

Mr Howard struck Declan Finn on the back of the head with the barrel of the shotgun and a struggle ensued; and Mr Finn and Tadhg Corbett overpowered Tom Howard, allowing Elaine Corbett to raise the alarm.

Mr Howard had told the three while he was overpowered that he wanted to take his own life.

He told Gardaí that he was in Sixmilebridge either to take his own life or carry out a robbery to pay off debts of €6,000.

Mr Howard pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to eight charges arising from the incident.

Last evening, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Judge Gerard Keys remanded Tom Howard on bail pending the Central Mental Hospital identifying a space for him where he will undergo a psychiatric assessment.