A WOMAN who put a knife to the throat of a work colleague during a paranoid delusion was discharged from court today on evidence that she is actively attending to the treatment of her mental health issues.
Erica Gill, aged 40, previously of Ozalid House, Camden Quay, and now living with her parents in County Clare, was found not guilty by reason of insanity earlier this year on three charges arising out of the violent incident.
The matter was back before Cork Circuit Criminal Court today when Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin discharged her from any further court proceedings.
The judge noted psychiatric evidence that the woman was not in need of in-patient treatment and that her condition was being managed successfully in a community setting with her own active cooperation and the support of her parents.
“She has shown good insight, she is very open to discussing her treatment and is taking treatment. I will discharge her from this court,” the judge said.
Her treatment has included the prescription of antipsychotic medication.
The case arose from a complaint by a woman working as a manager in technical support at Solar Winds at East Gate, Mahon Point.
On the morning of the incident, she welcomed the defendant back to work as she had been out sick for a brief period.
15 minutes after the conversation, the manager noticed that Ms Gill was staring at her and then the defendant stood up in an aggressive fashion and left the room.
Later that morning, the injured party was in the canteen talking to others when she was grabbed from behind and caught around the throat.
Erica Gill said, “You f***ing bitch,” as she had the manager caught by the throat. She felt something pressing against her neck. The injured party pulled it away from her.
It turned out that it was a steak knife that Ms Gill had purchased earlier at Tesco nearby.
In protecting herself in this way the injured party sustained cuts to her fingers which were bandaged later but did not require to be stitched.
During the incident, she said that Ms Gill also said, “Tell them what you did – you and that other f***er laughing at me.”
The injured party did not want to do anything to antagonise the defendant who eventually left the canteen.
The manager said in her statement, “I was petrified. I thought I was going to be killed. It was like she had lost control of her senses.”
Medical evidence called by both prosecution and defence indicated that the accused was suffering from a mental illness at the relevant time.
A jury took only minutes to find her not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of making a threat to kill and producing a knife during the incident.
On the count of assault causing harm there was a similar verdict but on that charge it was by direction of the trial judge.