Friday 19 July 2019

'I was drinking to forget' - Man (27) charged with mum's murder insisted to arresting Gardaí he had no recollection of the fatal stabbing

Paul Horgan
Paul Horgan

Ralph Riegel

A young man charged with the murder of his mother drank two bottles of wine while watching seven episodes of 'Family Guy' and then a Harry Potter film as he insisted to arresting Gardaí he had absolutely no recollection of the fatal stabbing.

The Central Criminal Court murder trial of Paul Horgan (27) heard that his mother, Marian (60), was discovered lying in a pool of blood at their Cork home with a large knife embedded in her head.

Mr Horgan denies the murder of his mother at the family home at Murmont Avenue, Montenotte, Cork on November 23 2015.

Mr Horgan's father, Billy, also suffered serious injuries in the alleged incident that morning.

Marian and Billy Horgan were devoted to each other; they had three children. Photo: Provision
Marian and Billy Horgan were devoted to each other; they had three children. Photo: Provision

Judge Patrick McCarthy and the jury of nine men and three women were told by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster that Mrs Horgan died from a single massive stab injury to her head.

The blade of the knife was embedded in her head when she was found by Gardai at the scene - with the blade sticking out the rear of her skull.

Dr Bolster said Mrs Horgan died from shock and haemorrhage as a result a stab wound which penetrated the rear of her skull, severed her left jugular vein, travelled underneath her jawbone and lodged into her tongue.

She had also suffered a stab wound to her back and had defensive injuries to her hands.

"Significant force would have been required to inflict this (fatal) wound," Dr Bolster said.

Det Garda Derek Griffin confirmed that a number of blood-stained knives were recovered at the property.

A number of knives were found in the vicinity of Mrs Horgan's body.

The handle from the broken knife which was seen protruding from Mrs Horgan was found under a wooden knife block on the kitchen counter.

Mrs Horgan's blood was later found on her son's T-shirt, his hoodie and his shoes.

Detective Garda Mark Durcan was the first Garda at the scene and said he saw two men forcibly restraining a blood stained young man on the roadway at Murmont Avenue.

The detective was told by local man, Fergus O'Donoghue, who was holding Paul Horgan, that: "He is after stabbing his parents - I think his mam is dead."

Detective Durcan went into the property and saw an injured Billy Horgan desperately ringing an ambulance for his critically injured wife.

However, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Paul Horgan was arrested and taken to Mayfield Garda Station for questioning.

In an interview with Detective Durcan, he insisted he had absolutely no recollection of the fatal confrontation that morning.

"I just remember pieces. I just remember this morning there was a guard and then the cell door."

"I was drinking to forget. I don't remember anything after the second bottle of wine."

The young man explained to Gardai that he only drank when he felt depressed.

"Just on a bad day when I am feeling a bit depressed - it annoys me that I cannot talk to women."

"I am not even good on dating sites."

Mr Horgan said he had spent the entire previous day in bed, only getting up at 6pm.

He watched TV and, around 2am, took two bottles of wine which belonged to his mother and started drinking them.

He said he watched around seven episodes of 'Family Guy' and then a Harry Potter film.

"Deathly Hallows Park II is that last thing I can remember watching."

Mr Horgan acknowledged that he smoked cannabis but insisted he had not done so for at least two weeks before November 23.

He repeatedly insisted he had no recollection of the fatal incident with his mother at breakfast and could not explain whether it was over him being intoxicated or having taken his mother's wine.

When informed his father said he had attacked both him and his mother with knives that morning, the young man expressed surprise.

"Two knives? That explains the cuts, I suppose. Knives? What the f***. I'll probably get life. I never harmed anyone before."

"I don't want to remember. If I remember that it will probably keep me awake (at night)."

"How many times did I stab her?"

"I barely talk to my dad and I am always arguing with my mam," he said.

The trial previous heard Billy Horgan say he went to the kitchen that morning after hearing the sounds of an argument to find his wife collapsing and pleading for help.

The father of three said he was then attacked by his son.

He said he realised on approaching the kitchen his wife had a knife stuck in her throat and cried “Help me” before she collapsed and he threw his arms around her.

Mr Horgan told the court that he told his son,“Look what you are after doing to your mother.”

He said Paul appeared calm and was smiling just seconds before then attacking him.

The trial continues.

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