Courts

Trial of man (20) accused of murdering Japanese national in Dundalk begins

Central Criminal Court

Eoin Reynolds

Reporter:

Eoin Reynolds

Trial of man (20) accused of murdering Japanese national in Dundalk  begins

Central Criminal Court

A Japanese man who came to Ireland to improve his English was stabbed to death on a public street by an Egyptian with paranoid schizophrenia, a barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Mohamed Morei (20), of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering Yosuke Sasaki (24) at Long Avenue, Dundalk, Co Louth on January 3, 2018.

Opening the trial today Sean Gillane SC for the State told the jury of seven men and five women that this was a "tragic case" and that the evidence of two consultant psychiatrists will show: "That Mr Morei was, at the time, a very very unwell person whose thoughts were disordered to the extent that for a period of time there was a concern about whether he would be fit to plead and stand trial."

Mr Gillane said the deceased was a "fine young man", a hard worker who was very intelligent and dedicated to trying to improve himself.

In a bid to learn English he joined a WhatsApp group and from that he met an English woman who wanted to learn Japanese. "Their friendship blossomed into a relationship," counsel said, and after having difficulties getting a Visa to go to England Mr Sasaki came to Dublin where he studied before moving to Dundalk to work at the National Pen factory.

He worked a night shift on January 2 and completed his shift in the early hours of January 3, 2018. Having left work he made his way towards a post office to pick up something he had ordered online. At the same time members of the public in Dundalk noticed a man with a non-Irish appearance acting "erratically" and "menacingly" on the street.

Shortly before 9am, counsel said, the accused approached Mr Sasaki from behind and stabbed him with a knife. The injury caused him to fall to the ground and despite medical intervention he died as a result of the single stab wound. 

Immediately after the stabbing another man named Dylan Grehan encountered the accused and was also struck from behind.

When he got to work, Mr Grehan realised he had suffered a wound from a sharp implement. A third man named Cian Murphy was also attacked by the accused a short distance away, counsel said.

Mr Morei today pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting Mr Grehan causing him harm at Quay St, Dundalk on January 3, 2018. He made the same plea in relation to assaulting Cian Murphy causing him harm at the Inner Relief Road in Dundalk on the same date.

He further pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to criminal damage of a car at Long Avenue in Dundalk on the same date and to burglary between January 2 and 3, 2018 at Long Avenue in Dundalk by entering a building as a trespasser and committing criminal damage.

Mr Gillane said the accused is Egyptian and traveled to Dublin from Northern Ireland in January 2018. He travelled to Dundalk the day before the stabbing where Mr Gillane said he appeared to have been squatting on the premises at Long Avenue. 

During interviews with gardai counsel said it was apparent that Mr Morei was showing disordered thoughts, was agitated and "what he was saying didn't appear to make sense."

He was assessed by a consultant psychiatrist, charged with murder, and committed to the Central Mental Hospital where he has remained since.

Mr Gillane said the evidence of Dr Paul O'Connell and Dr Brenda Wright will satisfy the jury that Mr Morei was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a mental disorder, and at the time of the offence he didn't know what he was doing was wrong and was unable to refrain from the acts.

The trial continues in front of the jury and Ms Justice Carmel Stewart tomorrow/