A woman who walked into a Dublin restaurant and threw a cup of acid at workers, leaving three women with severe burns, will remain in the care of the Central Mental Hospital.
Katarzyna Wsiubiak (34), of Abberly Square, Tallaght, was found not guilty by a jury by reason of insanity earlier this month.
The sentence was finalised by Judge Patricia Ryan in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday, who ordered that Wsiubiak should remain in the care of the Central Mental Hospital, where she has been since the incident.
The court heard Wsiubiak was “paranoid” and “delusional” when she walked into One Asian Kitchen in Tallaght on December 13th, 2020, and threw acid at the workers.
Wsiubiak entered the restaurant and threw acid at one of the three victims. This woman suffered severe burns to 16 per cent of her body, including her face. Wsiubiak had known her prior to carrying out the attack.
A second woman suffered burns when she tried to help her injured colleague remove her clothes. The third victim suffered burns to her ankle as a result of the acid splashing near her feet.
When charged, Wsiubiak entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of assault causing serious harm and one count of assault causing harm. These pleas were accepted by the prosecution.
Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, told the court that when Gardaí arrived at the scene of the incident, Wsiubiak approached them. She used Google Translate on her phone to tell them she had carried out the attack.
She wrote: “I did it”, and when Gardaí wrote back: “What did you do?”, she responded: “I hurt that girl.”
Wsiubiak was then arrested and interviewed by Gardaí, however, the court heard it became apparent that she was mentally unwell.
While in a holding cell, she had a seizure and was brought to hospital before being transferred to the Central Mental Hospital, where she has since remained.
The court heard Wsiubiak knew the first victim, who was the main target of the acid attack, and this woman had provided translation services for her. They had not been in contact for a couple of months prior to the incident.
Fiona Murphy SC, defending, told the court that Wsiubiak believed this woman was “engaged in a wider conspiracy against her”.
Dr Patrick McLaughlin, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, gave evidence that Wsiubiak has schizophrenia and said she was suffering from its symptoms at the time of the attack.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright also gave evidence regarding Wsiubiak's mental health, stating her condition is on the “severe end of mental illness”.
She said Wsiubiak “did not know what she was doing was morally wrong” and believed the first victim was part of a “wide conspiracy to torment and harm her”.
Dr Wright described how symptoms of the illness include “delusions and hallucinations”, but added that during her stay at the Central Mental Hospital, Wsiubiak's “mental state has improved”.
Medical reports handed into court stated the first victim suffered significant burns to her face, neck, chest and left upper arm, making up 16 per cent of her body's surface.
She suffered a significant injury to her left eye, which has affected her vision, and she has been left with permanent scars.
The second victim suffered second degree burns to her neck, left arm and fingers when she tried to help her colleague. The third victim suffered first degree burns to her ankle.
When the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was read out, Wsiubiak addressed the court with the assistance of a translator. She said “it is hard for me that I hurt someone” and added she is “very sorry”.
Isabel Hayes and David O'Sullivan
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