A homeless Corkman who hijacked a police traffic vehicle before embarking on a crazed rampage around the city centre and airport has been convicted on 12 counts at a Cork Court, despite an expert witness' claim that he was psychotic and on medication at the time.
Edmond Stapleton (38) hijacked a Garda Traffic Corps' vehicle in Cork City center after threatening to kill the patrolling officer at knife-point.
He then drove the vehicle to Cork Airport, several miles from the city center, where he broached the perimeter fence, and engaged in a dramatic high-speed chase with law enforcement officers around the airport's ramp area, before being finally being arrested.
Stapleton attempted to ram police and airport security vehicles several times during the frantic game of cat and mouse, and missed an aircraft full of passengers boarding for a charter flight by mere inches.
The dramatic footage was captured on camera by a bystander waiting to board a flight, and went viral on YouTube several hours after being posted.
Despite a four and a half hour deliberation at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Stapleton was found guilty on all 12 counts he was tried for by prosecutors.
His defense lawyers had tried to argue that Stapleton was legally insane at the time of the incident, but the argument didn't hold sway with the jury.
Dr Paul O'Connell of the Mater Central Hospital, Dublin, said that Stapleton's actions were consistent with behavior seen during the manic phase of bi-polar disorder, a serious mental health problem which causes sufferers to oscillate wildly between manic highs and depressive abysses.
However Irish insanity legislation does not allow for the defense to be pleaded if the insanity was induced through alcohol or (recreational) drugs; Stapleton's legal team were unable to convince the jury that this wasn't the probably explanation for his actions after he tested positive for an almost unheard of cocktail of drugs after being tested by police (specifically: cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and benzodiazepines!).