Mohamed Morei (21), the Eygptian asylum seeker who stabbed a Japanese man to death in Dundalk, has been found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and will now be remanded in the Central Mental Hospital.
Gardaí had told the Central Criminal Court that the 2018 killing was a “random” stabbing that is unrelated to terrorism, despite the accused’s previous claims to be part of ISIS.
Detective Inspector Martin Beggy told jurors that there is “no evidence to suggest any links whatsoever to terrorism”, describing Morei’s claims to be part of ISIS as “rambling” and “totally incoherent.”
Detective Beggy revealed that Morei entered the Republic via Northern Ireland in late 2017 and was taken from Dundalk to Dublin by Gardaí to apply for asylum, before returning to Dundalk on 2 January, 2018, one day before his fatal attack on Yosuke Sasaki (24) and further assault of two others.
Morei was taken to Dundalk Garda station after the attacks where he reportedly shouted “ISIS”, “Daesh”, “I’m from Syria”, and answered “yes” when asked if he represented ISIS. Morei later denied being a member of ISIS during interrogation, but did say that he killed his victim “for God”.
He later stated, “I’m not fighting for anybody, I’m fighting for ISIS, for God”, but Inspector Beggy told the court that Morei appeared to suffer “serious thought disorder”.
The court heard from consultant psychiatrists Dr. Brenda Wright and Dr. Paul O’Connell that Morei suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was unable to refrain from the attacks at the time.
Dr. Wright told the court Morei was hearing voices commanding him to attack, and also had an intellectual disability. He also thought the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who had previously arrested and held Morei in 2017, had poisoned him, and that both the radio and other people were making denigrating remarks about him.
Dr. Wright said that Morei qualified for a ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ verdict, because he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Morei pleaded not guilty be reason of insanity to all charges relating to 3 January, 2018, which included the killing of Sasaki, assault causing harm to Dylan Grehan and Cian Murphy, damage to a car, and burglary of a house at Long Avenue, Dundalk.
In closing remarks, both the senior Counsel for the State, Sean Gillane, and defence barrister Michael Bowman SC, urged the jury to find Morei not guilty by reason of insanity, something they said was the “only verdict” possible on the evidence presented.
The jury of five women and seven men found Morei not guilty of all charges after 24 minutes of deliberations yesterday. The case was heard before Justice Carmel Stewart.