Thursday, July 28, 2022

David Raleigh

A judge has described the contents of a pre-sentencing probation report on a transgender woman who threatened to torture, rape, and kill her mother, as “deeply disturbing”.

The defendant, Barbie Kardashian, (20), of no fixed abode, was convicted following a four-day trial last May of seven counts of threatening to kill or seriously harm her mother, Maria Luque, on various dates in 2020.

Ms Kardashian, who was born male and identifies as female, was acquitted of an additional four counts of threatening to kill or seriously harm a social care worker, Michael Mannix on dates between 2019 and 2020.

The alleged death threats were made after Kardashian had her residency extended at Coovagh House, which is a secure unit for children aged 11-17 years who have serious psychological issues.

Ms Kardashian, who changed her name by deed poll in August 2020 from Gabriel Alejandro Gentile, appeared before Limerick Circuit Court on Thursday, for sentencing.

Defence barrister, Mark Nicholas told judge Tom O’Donnell, that a probation report had been completed, but that a psychological report had yet to be finalised due to Kardashian’s being assessed for “a complex psychological issue”.

The judge said he had read the probation report, “and I consider this to be very serious”.

“The probation report has flagged that a psychological report is as yet outstanding, and the contents of the probation report, I would say, are deeply disturbing,” the judge said.

The judge described the author of the probation report, Mr Frank Cahill, as “a very experienced probation officer” and he reiterated that Mr Cahill’s conclusions “are a concern”.

Mr Nicholas said he expected the physiological report to be completed within the next seven weeks.

Judge O’Donnell remanded Kardashian in continuing custody for sentencing on November 7th.

Meeting

Kardashian, who denied all the charges at her trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court last May, is being held in custody at the female wing of Limerick Prison, having previously been granted a certificate from the Department of Social Protection recognising her gender as female.

During the trial, Mr Nicholas said he accepted Kardashian had told staff at Coovagh House, at a meeting to discuss discharging her into the community, after she had turned 18, that she planned to travel to her mother’s house, overpower her, torture her with a knife, a screwdriver, and boiling water.

Kardashian told staff she planned to only exit her mother’s house once she was satisfied she had left her mother to “bleed out”. Kardashian told staff she would check her mother’s pulse to ensure she was dead.

‘Shocking’

Mr Nicholas argued Kardashian’s plan was all “fantasy”, he said Kardahsian’s social care workers gave evidence in the trial that they did not immediately alert gardaí about the threats as they felt she was merely looking for attention by saying “shocking” things.

The barrister argued that care workers involved in Kardashian’s care, including one of the alleged injured parties, Michael Mannix, had, under oath, agreed Kardashian was diagnosed with “narcissistic personality disorder” and that she would engage in “shock behaviour” in order “to get attention”.

Mr Nicholas told the trial Kardashian had had a “horrible” life, and had been in State care since she was 10 years old.

He reiterated there had been an “absence of alarm” in the secure unit in the immediate aftermath of Kardashian’s threats, until, Nicholas said, it was time for her to be released into the community, which was almost two years after she made the first alleged threat to kill Mr Mannix, in January 2019.

There are a total of 15 beds in only three secure units in the State, including Coovagh House, for children who are a risk of being a danger to themselves or others, the trial heard.

Following the jury verdicts last May, Judge Tom O’Donnell said he had “concerns” that Kardashian might, at some point, after her sentence is completed “be left to their own devices” and he sought guidance from the probation service about a long term plan for Kardashian.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email [email protected]. 

Alternatively, the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support. 

In the case of an emergency, or if you or someone you know is at risk of suicide or self-harm, dial 999/112. 

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