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Man found not guilty by reason of insanity for attempted murder of woman he believed 'poisoned' the mind of his wife


A man found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted murder of a woman he believed was 'poisoning' the mind of his wife has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital.

Lateef Bello (42) from Pheasants Run in Clonee, Dublin 15 pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of Adejoke Opesusi at Littleplace by reason of insanity more than two years ago.

He was also found not guilty by reason of insanity of burglary, criminal damage, endangerment and assault causing harm.

Taking to the stand, Doctor Helen O' Neill told the Central Criminal Court today that she had compiled a report on March 12th of this year.

"Mr Bello is a 43-year-old father of six who since being discharged from the Central Mental Hospital(CMH) in 2012 had been living in family home," she said.

"He was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and he acted on symptoms and committed the offences. My assessment was that Mr Bello's florid psychotic symptoms appeared to be in remission. What is of serious concern is the issue of his very limited insight into his mental illness," said Dr O'Neill. 

"Mr Bello told me: 'no one has told me I have a mental illness,' and said: 'I know nothing about it'. He told me he believes he was 'mentally unwell' and that medication got rid of 'the voice' and other paranoid beliefs," she continued.

"He said: 'if I take this medication I cannot work - it makes me drowsy'. When asked about risk of violence (without medication) he said: 'I don't think I'd be anymore a risk'."

"When because of the illness, there is a serious likelihood of a person causing immediate harm to himself or another person, reception, detention or treatment is likely to benefit the person. There is a strong likelihood of him being non compliant with medication," she said.

"In Mr Bello's case, when he relapsed, he evoked concerns in his wife again to the extent that she expressed fear. Anybody who would become incorporated in Mr Bello's paranoid illusions would be at risk," said Dr O'Neill.

"While his wife was (at risk), she was not a direct victim of violence - it was other people who were incorporated into his beliefs that were. In my clinical experience, especially where compliance is of serious concern, all efforts need to be made to enhance compliance, not just regarding psychiatry."

"Psycho education would be of huge relevance to improve Mr Bello's insight. In the event that Mr Bello was committed to the CMH, the psychotherapy would be implemented. Another one of our pillars of care focuses on risk assessment to reduce risk of further harmful behaviour," she said.

Taking to the stand, Mrs Elizabeth Bello told the court that she has seen a difference in her husband and why he needs medication.

"I know he's sick - I make sure he takes it (medication) every day. I see the difference now, he is getting better," she said.

"He know that he is sick and he makes sure he takes his medicine - If he don't see his children and me his condition would become higher - I am there for him always," said Mrs Bello.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that he is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Bello should go to the designated centre for extensive treatment.

"This is a ruling in relation to Mr Bello who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity and was concerned with a number of offences which arose when Mr Bello suffered acute symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia which caused him in February 2012 to carry out the acts which became the subject of the offences from which he was acquitted," he said.

"The consequences of his actions were hugely severe for the victims. He was under the delusion that his wife was having an affair and that he was dead - that he had passed away," said Mr Justice McDermott.

"He attended at a number of premises and inflicted very serious injuries on a number of people."

"It is clearly set out by Dr O'Neill in her reports that there is a fundamental difficulty in relation to the insight of Mr Bello and the details of the attacks which were carried out when symptoms are to the fore, indicated any failure on his part will be catastrophic for others whether himself or people in the community," he continued.

"Mrs Bello was left to deal with this situation on her own at that time. She has shown enormous fortitude and shown good understanding of Mr Bello's situation. It is difficult not to be impressed by Mrs Bello, who was the subject of delusions and suffered greatly, as did her friends and has maintained such an even keel and loving approach," he said.

"My difficulty is that she is left on her own to deal with the disintegration if the medication isn't taken. The very best treatment in care must take place."

"The forensic expertise is not available to the extent that one might hope for in the community. In terms of the psycho education and gaining insight into this illness - the psycho educational pillar of treatment is not available in the community," he said. 

"I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he (Mr Bello) should go to the designated centre and should be given extensive treatment particularly in relation to his insight into what it is dealing with."

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