Man not guilty of murdering his mother by reason of insanity

Paul Henry (29), from Roscommon, stabbed his mother Ann to death in September 2011

Paul Henry (29) with an address at Ardsallagh, Athlone Road, Roscommon was charged with murdering his mother Ann Henry at Abbeystown, Ballyphesan in Roscommon town on September 17th, 2011. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Paul Henry (29) with an address at Ardsallagh, Athlone Road, Roscommon was charged with murdering his mother Ann Henry at Abbeystown, Ballyphesan in Roscommon town on September 17th, 2011. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A Roscommon man who stabbed his mother to death more than four years ago has been found not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity.

Paul Henry (29) with an address at Ardsallagh, Athlone Road, Roscommon was charged with murdering his mother Ann Henry at Abbeystown, Ballyphesan, in Roscommon town on September 17th, 2011.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court Mr Henry pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Henry by reason of insanity.

At the beginning of the trial defence counsel Colm Smyth SC told the jury his client admitted he killed his mother.

Mr Smyth called consultant psychiatrist Professor Tom Fahey who said Mr Henry suffered from “delusional disorder.” In Prof Fahey’s opinion Mr Henry was “unable to refrain from committing the act.”.

Prosecution counsel Caroline Biggs SC called forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright who diagnosed Mr Henry with “paranoid schizophrenia.”

The jury spent one hour 36 minutes deliberating before bringing in a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jurors: “You decided the verdict with great care and detail. It’s a legally correct verdict on the evidence and a humane verdict. Mr Henry is a very unwell man and it would be inhumane to treat him as a criminal. I think it is 100 per cent likely he will committed to a place where he will be safe.”

The judge ordered Mr Henry be detained in the Central Mental Hospital and put in the matter for Thursday.