Wednesday 22 February 2017

Son pleads not guilty to murder of mum with mug

Eoin Reynolds

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

Lynn Cassidy (50)
Lynn Cassidy (50)

A young man who beat his mother to death with a mug has pleaded not guilty to her murder by reason of insanity.

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A young man who beat his mother to death with a mug has pleaded not guilty to her murder by reason of insanity.

The trial of Bijan Afshar (23), from Killarney Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, is expected to last three days.

Mr Afshar is charged with the murder of his mother Lynn Cassidy (50), on June 26 or 27, 2014, at her home in Deepdales, Bray, Co Wicklow.

Counsel for the prosecution, Paul Burns SC, told a jury at the Central Criminal Court that they will hear from two psychiatrists. He said it would be up to the jury to decide whether they agree that Mr Afshar was "unable to refrain from committing the act, the killing in question" because of his mental condition.

Detective Sergeant Eamonn O'Neill of Bray Garda Station agreed with Mr Burns that Bijan Afshar is the eldest of four sons and lived with his father and one of his brothers since his parents split in 2008.

Mr Afshar had a difficult relationship with his mother, often only communicating with her through messages passed between them by his brothers.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. Garda O'Neill said this meant he found it difficult to interact with others.

As a teenager, he became increasingly difficult and stopped going to school. When his father became concerned about his over-use of the internet, he took away his modem but the boy became even more reclusive.

Det Sgt O'Neill said that in an interview with gardaí on June 27, 2014, Mr Afshar said that before he attacked his mother he was worried about losing the house he shared with his father as it was being sold.

He called over to his mother's house, and when she said she couldn't slow down the sale, he said he "kind of lost control" and hit her over the head with a mug.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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