Peterborough murder accused ‘had anger issues’ court told

A man accused of murdering a fellow party goer at a party in Peterborough ‘had anger issues’ a court has been told.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 4:58 am
Daniel Szalasny

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

Bradley Plavecz (20) of Arkwright Way, Peterborough has admitted stabbing Mr Szalasny, but denies murder. It is said ADHD would mean his ability to exercise control, which would offer Plavecz a limited defence to the murder charge, meaning the jury could return a verdict of not guilty to murder due to diminished responsibility, and be found guilty 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 exercise self control was substantially impaired.

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

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

He said he ‘formed the opinion that the ADHD did not affect his (Plavecz) ability to form a rational judgement.’

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

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

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

“He also reported drinking alcohol (on the night leading up to the stabbing) and was affected by the alcohol.”

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

He said; “The way he moves forward while the victim is backing away, it looks like it is a goal directed action, showing control. He is thinking something then doing it.

“To me it shows him being purposeful. If he is choosing to take a knife out, that is a goal directed action.”

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

Dr Galappathie said on the CCTV he had witnessed Plavecz making three stabbing motions.

He said: “I saw him make three stabbing motions, then there was a gap and they went off screen, then I presume he stabbed again.

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

Stephen Spence, defending, said that no witnesses reported two separate episodes of stabbing, and asked if that would make Dr Galappathie’s reasoning incorrect.

Dr Galappathie replied; “It doesn’t change my opinion. He would still have been able to exercise self control.”

Dr Galappathie’s evidence was the last evidence to be heard in the trial. On Monday barristers will give closing speeches, before Judge Sean Enright sums up the case for the jury.

PLavecz has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The trial continues.