A man who stabbed his mother 19 times causing her death began using drugs at the age of 10, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
A post-mortem examination showed that Noreen Kelly (46) died of multiple stab wounds on March 9, 2011.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave evidence earlier today in the trial of her son, Celyn Eadon (22), who is charged with her murder.
Mr Eadon, with an address at Derrycrieve, Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo, admits her manslaughter but has pleaded not guilty to her murder at that address.
Dr Curtis told the Central Criminal Court that he went to the scene on the day of the killing.
He testified that he observed Ms Kelly’s body lying on a blood-soaked bed. He said there was also considerable blood staining in the kitchen.
He said he later carried out a post-mortem examination on her body at Mayo General Hospital.
He found 19 stab wounds, along with a number of slash wounds, bruises and abrasions.
He outlined a number of stab wounds to her face, torso and legs, explaining that a wound to her right eye had penetrated as far as the frontal lobe of the brain.
He said other stab wounds had severed the right jugular vein and fractured facial bones.
The pathologist explained that one wound had tracked through her left lung, while another had wounded the pericardial sac around the heart and reached the liver.
He pointed out that three wounds to her hands could have been defensive injuries.
Dr Curtis gave her cause of death as sustained multiple stab wounds, which caused catastrophic haemorrhaging. He said that death would have been rapid, but not necessarily instant.
The prosecution then closed its case and the jury heard from two medical witnesses on behalf of defence. The trial had already heard that Mr Eadon tested positive for drugs in the hours after his mother’s death.
Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Paul O’Connell examined Mr Eadon in the Central Mental Hospital in late 2012 and during 2013. He noted that Mr Eadon had begun using drugs at the age of 10 and said that this would have an effect on a developing brain.
“In my opinion, at the time of the killing, he was intoxicated and experiencing substance-induced psychosis,” he said, explaining that psychosis was a break from reality.
He said that the accused had probably been experiencing this for a week before the killing. He added that this could affect the capacity to form a specific intent.
Under cross examination by the prosecution, Dr O’Connell said the accused had drug-induced brain injury, which had triggered drug-induced psychosis. He said that this was not the same as someone being intoxicated.
Senior Clinical Psychologist Dr Ken O’Reilly said he also examined the accused while a patient in the hospital, during which time he assaulted several patients and staff members.
He concluded that the accused had organic brain impairment secondary to polysubstance misuse.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of seven men and five women.