Northern Ireland news

Man stabbed his boss 19 times believing he murdered Michaela McAreavey

Appearing at court by videolink from police custody, Michael Kevin Cooke (30), also known as Hannaway, was charged with five offences

A 35-year-old man stabbed his former employer 19 times because the accused was having “psychotic delusions” and believed his boss was responsible for the murder of Michaela McAreavey, his trial has heard.

Dublin's Central Criminal Court heard Neil O’Dowd was increasingly paranoid in the weeks leading up to the incident and believed Covid was a conspiracy.

He also thought his boss was responsible for the unsolved murder of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius and had brought a Mauritian chef who worked in the pub over to Ireland to cover up the crime.

Mr O’Dowd, of Tuscany Park, Baldoyle, is charged with the attempted murder of Paul Smith at The Elphin Pub on the Baldoyle Road in Sutton, Dublin on January 28, 2021. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The jury heard Mr Smith, the manager of the pub, was stabbed repeatedly with three different knives, had glasses smashed over his head and was beaten with a mop handle.

The court heard a total of 19 stab wounds were inflicted on Mr Smith and following the incident he suffered a pseudoaneurysm in the artery of his heart which required surgery and a stent.

The trial continues


Northern Ireland news