News Courts

Sunday 21 September 2014

Court told woman 'remains psychotic and should remain in treatment'

Published 30/06/2014 | 13:52

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Walter Plunkett who was found suffocated in his garden in Ballyedmond, Co Wexford. Photo; Patrick Browne

A report was read to court today detailing the treatment and progress of a woman found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing her partner.

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Caroline Roche (52) from Ballyedmond Monamolin in Wexford has pleaded not guilty to murdering Walter Plunkett (84) by reason of insanity.

Paul Burns SC prosecuting reminded the court that Miss Roche was found not guilty by reason of insanity earlier this month (June 20).

Consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Central Medical Hospital in Dundrum, Dr Paul O’ Connell confirmed that stress caused by the trial had cause short destabilisation but that Miss Roche’s mental state has improved.

“I’m advised by colleagues that the stress of the trial caused short destabilisation. However, her (Miss Roche) mental state has significantly improved.”

“Miss Roche became pre occupied with persecutory beliefs which somehow involves nurses. This appeared to have been precipitated by the stress of the trial.”

“In my opinion, Miss Roche remains psychotic and should remain in treatment. She has been fully co operative and there is evidence of increasing improvement in her mental state.”

Dr O’Connell confirmed that the severity of Miss Roche’s illness fulfils the criteria of the definition of mental illness adding that a period of observation such as is obtained at the Central Medical Hospital would aid improvement.

Mr Justice Barry White made an order that Miss Roche be committed to Dundrum Hospital.

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