Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Stephen Silver has been found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of the capital murder of Garda Colm Horkan after shooting him with the detective’s own gun in Co. Roscommon in June 2020.

Mr Silver (46), of Aughavard, Foxford, Co. Mayo, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Garda Horkan knowing or being reckless as to whether he was a member of An Garda Siochana acting in accordance with his duty at Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, on June 17, 2020.

He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the jury had been told the main issue in the trial is Mr Silver’s state of mind at the time of the shooting.

The jury returned to court on Tuesday to ask Ms Justice Tara Burns for clarification on the term recklessness before resuming deliberations.

In her directions to the jury, Ms Justice Burns told the panel of seven men and five women that the possible verdicts they could consider relate to capital murder, murder simpliciter, or manslaughter either because of diminished responsibility or self-defence. She said that a verdict of not guilty is not open to them in the case as Mr Silver entered a plea to the charge of manslaughter.

The jury were asked to consider whether Mr Silver was suffering from a relapse of his mental illness when he shot and killed Gda Horkan and whether this substantially reduced his responsibility.

Mr Silver shot Det. Gda Horkan several times with the garda’s own gun on June 17, 2020. Members of Det. Gda Horkan’s family said they were “relieved” with the verdict.

Ms Justice Tara Burns told the jury of seven men and five women they had “listened to every single piece of evidence diligently and carefully” over the six-week trial.

She said it is not often there is a case of this nature and she was extremely thankful to them. She said it was clear they understood “absolutely everything” that was directed to them. They were exempted from jury service for the rest of their lives.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court deliberated for eight hours and 59 minutes.

Silver was returned to custody ahead of the sentencing hearing which will begin on Wednesday, April 19.


Stephen Silver

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