A MAN previously charged with the unlawful killing of his elderly mother in a nursing home has now been accused of her murder.
The manslaughter -- or unlawful killing -- charge against Gerard Vollrath (46) was struck out yesterday at Waterford District Court and replaced with a murder charge.
Judge Kevin Staunton heard evidence of how gardai charged Mr Vollrath with murder.
Vera Vollrath (83) was found dead at the Killure Bridge nursing home in Waterford on January 9 this year.
Her son Gerard was arrested shortly after her death but was subsequently granted bail by the High Court and allowed to return to Austria, where he is employed as an aircraft engineer. This was subject to a number of conditions.
Detective Garda Maureen Neary told the court she arrested the accused at 10.30am yesterday. Mr Vollrath appeared in court accompanied by his sister, Anna Kirk.
The court heard that when Mr Vollrath was charged with murder he made no reply.
Garda Inspector Anthony Dineen applied to the judge to strike out the unlawful killing charge and to replace it with the new charge of murder.
The judge agreed to this application. Legal aid was granted.
Mr Vollrath stood up in court for the duration of the brief hearing but did not speak.
The accused was served with the book of evidence before the judge sent him forward for trial. He was remanded in custody but will appear before the Dublin Central Criminal Court's new sessions which are due to begin today.
His solicitor said the question of bail did "not arise" as his client would appear in court again today. A date will be set for the trial shortly.