Wednesday 21 August 2019

Family hit out after the trial of psychotic killer of son

Spokesperson John O’Keeffe with Michael Loughlin, whose son Jimmy was killed. Picture: Collins
Spokesperson John O’Keeffe with Michael Loughlin, whose son Jimmy was killed. Picture: Collins

Eoin Reynolds and Alison O'Riordan

The parents of a man beaten to death by a neighbour undergoing a psychotic episode have said it is "unacceptable" that someone so dangerous and known to mental health services was living a few doors from their "defenceless" son.

It emerged during the Central Criminal Court trial that a psychiatrist previously had concerns that the man responsible for the killing was at risk of murdering someone due to his delusional beliefs.

Following a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity for Sligo man Richard McLaughlin, the deceased's parents Paula and Michael said their son Jimmy Loughlin had never had any contact with Mr McLaughlin before he broke through Jimmy's front door "and attacked him violently with a crow bar".

In a statement read to the court on their behalf they said: "To discover that someone so dangerous was living just a few doors down the road and known to mental health services in Sligo is totally unacceptable."

Mr McLaughlin (32), with an address at The Laurels, Woodtown Lodge, Co Sligo, was yesterday found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of Jimmy 'James' Loughlin (20) at Connolly Street, in Co Sligo, on February 24, 2018.

The court heard Mr McLaughlin broke down the door of Mr Loughlin's home at 1.18pm and beat him to death with a crowbar while suffering from delusions brought on by paranoid schizophrenia.

Outside court family spokesman John O'Keefe said: "The family do believe there are questions to be answered with regard to the mental health services. They hope that at the coroner's inquest in October of this year those questions will be answered."

Justice Carmel Stewart directed Dr Sally Lenihan at the Central Mental Hospital to draw up a report for the court regarding ongoing treatment for Mr McLaughlin, which the court will hear on July 16.

Irish Independent

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