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Mother in court charged with murdering her son Anthony Ward on Monday

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Diane Ward (42), of Harrison’s
Place, Charleville, Co Cork, had
nothing to say when gardai
arrested and charged her with murdering her eight-year-old son 
Anthony Ward

Diane Ward (42), of Harrison’s Place, Charleville, Co Cork, had nothing to say when gardai arrested and charged her with murdering her eight-year-old son Anthony Ward

Anthony Ward

Anthony Ward

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Diane Ward (42), of Harrison’s Place, Charleville, Co Cork, had nothing to say when gardai arrested and charged her with murdering her eight-year-old son Anthony Ward

THE mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old son had nothing to say when gardai arrested and charged her.

Diane Ward (42), of 33 Harrison's Place, Charleville, Co Cork, was charged yesterday with the murder of her only son, Anthony, at their home on Monday.

She appeared at Limerick District Court last night, where her solicitor said she did not want to be remanded to the Central Mental Hospital, as had been requested by the State.

The Cork woman was taken to the court from Mallow garda station in an unmarked patrol car, while her son's removal took place in Charleville.

She arrived at the courthouse at 6.20pm and kept her face covered with a black and white jacket. Inside the building, she sat with her back turned to the courtroom until Judge Eugene O'Kelly entered.

There were no family members of either Ms Ward or her dead son in the court.

Det Sgt Michael Corbett gave evidence of arresting Ms Ward at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Tuesday and charging her with her son's murder at 4.45pm yesterday in Mallow garda station.

He told the judge that she made no reply when the murder charge was put to her.

Charleville solicitor Paul Cagney said Ms Ward was not working at present and he requested legal aid.

Supt Pat McCarthy said Ms Ward had been seen by consultants on Monday and Tuesday and that she had been diagnosed by Dr Eugene Cassidy as having "severe affective disturbance".

The court heard that Dr Cassidy had consulted with Dr Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

Supt McCarthy asked that Ms Ward be remanded to the Dochas Centre -- the women's prison in Mountjoy -- which, he said, would allow her to be admitted to the CMH, where a bed is available for her.

He said this could be facilitated under the 2006 Criminal Law Insanity Act.

However, Mr Cagney said Ms Ward "is unhappy to be remanded in that fashion" and did not want to go to the CMH.

Mr Cagney said Dr Cassidy was not a forensic psychiatrist and asked for such a person to carry out an assessment of his client.

Psychiatrist

The judge ordered that Ms Ward be remanded to the Dochas Centre, which he said was the "most appropriate centre at this stage".

He also ordered that a consultant forensic psychiatrist examine Ms Ward and that the report on her mental health be made available to the court.

Finally, he said Ms Ward should receive appropriate medical and psychiatric treatment while in custody.

Ms Ward was remanded in custody to appear before Newcastle West District Court next Tuesday at 10.30am.

Irish Independent