Saturday 3 December 2016

Twins had 40 wounds each in frenzied attack

Published 20/08/2015 | 02:30

A family snapshot of the twins Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll
A family snapshot of the twins Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll

Nine-year-old twins suffered more than 40 stab wounds each in a frenzied attack by their older brother, who took his own life less than an hour later.

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A coroner's inquest heard that Jonathan O'Driscoll (21) attacked his twin brothers, Thomas 'TomTom' (9) and Patrick 'Paddy' (9), without warning in the family's Deerpark, Charleville, Co Cork home on September 4 last year.

His parents, Thomas and Helen, were away buying a miniature caravan for the twins' impending birthday.

Jonathan's mental health had dramatically declined following a car accident in November 2012. He became so paranoid that he believed somone was trying to poison him.

The young man was left very depressed over the failure of two relationships with young women and the fact that he was unemployed.

He also believed he had serious undiagnosed brain injuries.

His devoted parents said they hoped that greater resources would be provided for mental-health support services.

"If there is anyone out there, boys and girls or adults, suffering from depression, please don't wait for their parents to be sick and broken-hearted like us. Go and find help - there is help there," Helen said.

Jonathan, who was adopted, wrote a total of five notes before the killings - three of which were found near his body in a forest outside Buttevant in north Cork.

Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy described the contents as "quite disturbed and quite disturbing."

Two knives were found in the nearby River Awbeg.

Jonathan launched a frenzied attack on the two boys at their Deerpark home after collecting them from school.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis found that each twin had suffered more than 40 stab wounds.

One had suffered penetrating stab wounds to his aorta, jugular, heart, both lungs and even a wound which had gone right through his arm.

Dr Kennedy was told Jonathan had stopped taking anti- psychotic medication some days before the tragedy.

He had purchased a knife at least two weeks before, indicating that the actions may have been planned for some time.

His computer was found with searches including phrases such as: "murder in Charleville", "Irish law - stabbing with a knife" and "suicide by hanging".

The only previous indication of violence was when, during a row with his mother the year before, he caught her by the throat.

Dr Kennedy recorded an open verdict for Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll. The inquest jury ruled that Jonathan O'Driscoll took his own life.

Irish Independent

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