Peterborough murder defendant ‘had anger issues’, court told

Daniel Szalasny

Daniel Szalasny (22) died after being stabbed in the heart at a party in Crown Street, Peterborough, in May last year.

Bradley Plavecz (20) of Arkwright Way, Peterborough has admitted to stabbing Mr Szalasny, but denies murder. ADHD is said to mean his ability to exercise control, which would offer Plavecz a limited defense to the murder charge, meaning the jury could return a verdict of not guilty for murder due to liability reduced, and be convicted of manslaughter instead.

Yesterday morning Dr Richard Pool told the jury at Peterborough Crown Court that in his opinion Plavecz’s ADHD meant his ability to control himself was significantly impaired.

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But in the afternoon, Dr Nuwan Galappathie, another consultant forensic psychiatrist, said he believed the disorder would not have significantly affected that ability.

Dr. Galappathie said he agreed with parts of Dr. Pool’s opinions, including that Plavecz has ADHD.

He said he “formed the opinion that ADHD did not affect his (Plavecz) ability to form rational judgment”.

John Farmer, prosecuting, then asked Dr Galappathie if ADHD would affect his ability to exercise self-control.

He replied, “It may make individuals more impulsive, but it would be to a limited extent and not substantially impaired to exercise self-control.

“I have formed the opinion that he has an anger management problem, as indicated by his history of violence.

“He also said he drank alcohol (the night before the stabbing) and was affected by the alcohol.”

Dr Galappathie said the actions of Plavecz he witnessed on CCTV footage of the incident indicated he was in control.

He said; “The way he moves forward while the victim is backing up, it feels like a goal-directed action, showing control. He thinks something and then does it.

“For me, it shows that he is determined. If he chooses to draw a knife, it is a goal-directed action.

During the incident, Mr Szalasny suffered six stab wounds, including the fatal one to the heart.

Dr Galappathie said on CCTV he saw Plavecz make three stabbing movements.

He said: “I saw him do three stabbing movements and then there was a gap and they went off screen and then I guess he stabbed again.

“In my opinion, the fact that there was a gap between the stabbing episodes indicates that it was not impulsive, it was a goal-directed action.”

Stephen Spence, defending, said no witness reported two separate stabbing episodes and questioned whether that would make Dr Galappathie’s reasoning incorrect.

Dr. Galappathie replied; “That doesn’t change my opinion. He still would have been able to control himself.

Dr. Galappathie’s deposition was the last evidence to be heard during the trial. On Monday, the attorneys will deliver closing remarks, before Judge Sean Enright sums up the case to the jury.

PLavecz pleaded not guilty to murder.

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