« BackKerry murder trial hears accused suffers from mental disability

A man accused of murdering a Brazilian at a North Kerry bog was suffering from a mental disability that substantially diminished his responsibility, a trial has heard.
Tralee Courthouse
John Paul Cawley of 2 Ardoughter, Ballyduff denies murdering Bruno Lemes de Sousa at Shronowen Bog, Listowel between February 16th and 17th, 2012. An expert witness has told the Central Criminal Court in Tralee the 22-year-old was in the borderline range between mild mental handicap and normal. Consultant clinical psychologist Mr Brian Glanville, a witness for the defence, said John Paul Cawley had a low IQ and difficulty with social problem solving that would have put him at a disadvantage. Mr Glanville said he had a borderline personality disorder with some depressive traits associated with low self esteem. The trial heard Mr Cawley also had a fear of being alone in the world and when he moved in with his sister Sandra in Ardoughter, his relationships with other family members had effectively broken down. Standing up to someone in authority would have been difficult, especially if he thought he was on the verge of being abandoned, the trial heard. But under cross examination, Mr Glanville said the accused understood his actions were wrong and he was not insane. However, consultant psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright told the trial there was no evidence to suggest John Paul Cawley had a mental disability. Closing statements on behalf of the defence and the prosecution will be heard this morning.