Saturday 17 March 2018

Man chopped up mum then buried body, court is told

Philomena Dunleavy
Philomena Dunleavy

Brian Horne

AN IRISHMAN chopped up his mother then buried her body in a suitcase at a Scottish beauty spot, a court heard.

It is alleged that James Dunleavy, who denies murder, then fabricated a story that his mother had been unwell and had returned to Ireland.

A major police inquiry began in May this year when the remains of Philomena Dunleavy (66) of Marino, Dublin, were unearthed on Corstorphine Hill outside Edinburgh.

Her son James Dunleavy (39), also known as Seamus, denies charges of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to cover up the death.

The murder charge alleges that between April 30 and May 7 this year Dunleavy attacked his mum at his then home, inflicting "blunt force trauma injuries" as well as compressing her throat and cutting off her legs with a saw and a blade.


A second charge accuses Dunleavy of pretending to neighbours that his mother had been unwell and had returned to Ireland.

The charge goes on to allege that Dunleavy dismembered his mother's corpse and put the body parts in a suitcase which he then took to a secluded clearing on Corstorphine Hill and buried.

Dunleavy, it is claimed, also cleaned bloodstains from his flat, burned furniture and disposed of his mother's mobile phone.

Dunleavy, who had been living in Edinburgh's Balgreen Road, is being held in the State Hospital at Carstairs.

He made a brief appearance at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday before Judge Lord Uist to plead not guilty to the charges against him.

A trial, which is expected to last 20 days, is due to start in early January.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News