Saturday 17 March 2018

Man found not guilty of murdering his mum but insane is 'very unwell'

Paul Henry was found not guilty of the murder of his mother Ann Henry by reason of insanity. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Paul Henry was found not guilty of the murder of his mother Ann Henry by reason of insanity. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Ann Henry

Alison O'Riordan

A judge thanked a jury after it found a "very unwell man" not guilty of murdering his mother by reason of insanity.

Paul Henry (29) admitted he killed his mother Ann Henry at Abbeystown, Ballyphesan, in Roscommon town on September 17, 2011.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Henry, with an address at Ardsallagh, Athlone Road, Roscommon, pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of insanity.

And yesterday the jury spent one hour 36 minutes deliberating before bringing in a unanimous verdict.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked the 12 jurors for their service and the painstaking approach they took to the case.

He told the jury: "You decided the verdict with great care and detail. It's a legally correct verdict on the evidence and a humane verdict.


"Mr Henry is a very unwell man and it would be inhumane to treat him as a criminal. I think it is 100pc likely he will be committed to a place where he will be safe."

He said that jury service is essential and he is always impressed by "the serious and considered approach juries take."

"You have to react in a cold way when dealing with hot issues," he said.

At the beginning of the trial, defence counsel Mr Colm Smyth SC told the jury of eight men and four women that his client admitted that he killed his mother.

During the trial Mr Smyth called consultant psychiatrist Professor Tom Fahey to give evidence. He told the court Mr Henry suffers from a "delusional" disorder.

The court heard that, in Prof Fahey's opinion, Mr Henry was "unable to refrain from committing the act" and this "propelled him" to act in the way in which he said he did.

Yesterday prosecution counsel Ms Caroline Biggs SC called forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright to give evidence. She diagnosed Mr Henry with paranoid schizophrenia.

Dr Wright said that, at the time, Mr Henry did not have the capacity to form intent because of his mental disorder.

The judge ordered that Mr Henry be detained in the Central Mental Hospital.

Irish Independent

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