Wednesday 17 January 2018

Man accused of beating his mother to death with a mug pleads not guilty to murder

Central Criminal Court
Central Criminal Court

Eoin Reynolds

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

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

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

Counsel for the prosecution Paul Burns SC told the jury of six men and six women 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.

Mr Burns said that they would hear that Mr Afshar had a strained relationship with his mother following the break-up of his parents' marriage in 2008. He had lived with his father Mohammed since then and often communicated with his mother only through notes carried by his siblings.

In June 2014 Mr Afshar and his father were to be evicted from their home. Mr Burns said the accused found it difficult to handle changes to his routine and was concerned about the move.

In interviews with gardai Mr Afshar said that on the night when he killed his mother, he spoke to her about the move and told her that he felt suicidal. He said he remembers grabbing her by the neck and striking her on the head with a mug.

The trial continues before Justice Margaret Heneghan this afternoon

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