Sussex

Councillor Joseph O'Riordan guilty of attempted murder

Joseph O'Riordan Image copyright Polegate Town Council
Image caption Joseph O'Riordan had pleaded not guilty

A town councillor has been found guilty of attempting to murder his wife.

Joseph O'Riordan, 74, of Guardian Court, Brookside Avenue, Polegate, stabbed his wife several times with a kitchen knife at the home they shared in October 2014.

He denied the charge during the trial at Brighton Magistrates' Court. but admitted wounding with intent. However, this has not been accepted by the prosecution.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

After the attack, Amanda O'Riordan, 47, was taken to hospital where she underwent six hours of emergency surgery.

During the trial, it emerged O'Riordan, who was a councillor for Polegate Town Council, had been tracking his wife's movements and monitored her email and phone messages after believing she was having an affair.

Giving evidence at Brighton Magistrates' Court - where the trial was heard because of a lack of space at Hove Crown Court - Mrs O'Riordan said her husband was tracking her movements by GPS device.

'Intent to kill'

In his closing speech, prosecutor Dale Sullivan said: "The calm, unflustered way he carried out the attack, the amount of times he used that knife to cause injury, the location and seriousness of the injuries, and the force used in the attack.

"Whatever possible intent could there have been other than an intent to kill."

Mr O'Riordan's defence decided not to call any evidence. However, in his closing statement Peter Doyle, QC, said the attack was "a spontaneous reaction to events unfolding that night".

Polegate Town Council said Mr O'Riordan was no longer a councillor because he had not been to a meeting since September, breaching the non-attendance rule.

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