Thursday 27 November 2014

'Drugs ruin lives' - the warning from the family of a murdered mum who was killed for burning son's drugs

Published 06/02/2014 | 02:30

Noreen Kelly
Noreen Kelly
Celyn Eadon, 22, arriving at Swinford District Court, Co Mayo, in March 2011 where he was charged with the murder of his mother Noree Kelly Eadon. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus....NWS

A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his mother at home while he was high on drugs.

Celyn Eadon (22) stabbed Noirin Kelly 19 times on March 9, 2011. She died at the scene.

As Eadon was jailed for life, the family warned that "drugs ruin lives", adding: "The warmth and light have been extinguished forever from our lives, leaving us hollow."

Eadon, of Derrycrieve, Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo, had admitted his mother's manslaughter but had pleaded not guilty to her murder.

The eight-day trial at the Central Criminal Court heard that Eadon had started using drugs at a young age, beginning with sniffing solvents aged 10.

By the time of his mother's death, he was unemployed and taking amphetamines, methamphetamines and cannabis, along with prescription medication.

His mother (46) had taken drugs from his bedroom and burned them on the evening before she died. Although he did not know who had taken them, his brother said he was "absolutely schizo" about it and the State argued that their disappearance might have been a trigger for the attack.

Various witnesses told the trial that the accused was hallucinating in the days before killing his mother, seeing aliens, fire, ants, demons and black smoke.

He had also started fires, both inside and outside their house.

His mother had tried in vain to get help for him from both the gardai and the local hospital. She called his father, from whom she was separated, her brother and a recovered drug abuser to the house on the evening before she died.

All spoke to the accused in an effort to help him.

His younger brother, Ferdia Eadon, testified that he woke to the sound of his mother screaming in the early hours. He found her dying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor and said his brother was nowhere to be seen.

The court heard that after killing his mother, the accused crossed open countryside, discarding his shoes, socks and top. He was covered in scratches when he turned up at the house of a stranger.

John Scott testified that the accused approached his kitchen window and said he had been abducted by aliens, who had experimented on him. When arrested, he said he didn't realise he had stabbed his mother, that she "didn't appear to be the same person".

He was taken to hospital, where he tested positive for amphetamines, methamphetamines and cannabis.

Eadon argued during his trial that his prolonged drug abuse had caused brain damage and that such a mental disorder meant he had diminished responsibility for the killing.

HALLUCINATIONS

He further argued that he was so intoxicated by drugs at the time he killed his mother that he was unable to form the statutory intent. He asked for a verdict of manslaughter.

However, the jury found him guilty of murder.

In their victim impact report, Ms Kelly's family members said: "We remember Noirin as a devoted mother, sister, auntie and friend. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out.

"Her love of nature, energy and sheer love of life set a glow in the hearts of all who knew her. This warmth and light have been extinguished forever from our lives, leaving us hollow.

"Drugs ruin lives."

Natasha Reid

Irish Independent

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