Friday 6 December 2019

Son accused of stabbing mum 10 times had only been released from mental health hospital, murder trial told

Paul Henry’s release was against the advice of medical team 

Paul Henry and his mother Ann Henry (inset)
Paul Henry and his mother Ann Henry (inset)
Paul Henry
Ann Henry

Caroline Crawford

A YOUNG man who allegedly stabbed his mother 10 times and beat her with a brush handle as she lay dying had only been released from a mental hospital just four weeks before the fatal attack.

Paul Henry (28) denies the murder of his mother Ann Henry who died outside her home at The Spinney, Abbeytown, Roscommon on September 17, 2011.

His murder trial heard that despite ongoing mental issues Mr Henry was released from a mental health facility on August 11.

His release was against the advice of his treating medical team. Following his release he immediately stopped taking his medication and failed to turn up for out patient appointments with the service. Attempts by his medical team to reach him with phone calls and visits to his home also went unanswered.

Just over four weeks later it is alleged he carried out the assault on his mother, with whom he lived, following a row about his need to get new accommodation because she was moving to Athlone.

It is alleged he stabbed his mother 10 times with a kitchen knife in the kitchen of her home. As she stumbled from the house aand lay seriously injured on the ground, he allegedly kicked her and beat her with a brush handle until it broke.

The court also heard that Mr Henry's father Phelim had pleaded with his estranged wife on several occasions to get a barring order against their son but she refused.

The Central Criminal Court sittting in Castlebar before Justice Paul Carney heard evidence from Dr Tom Fahy, a professor of forensic mental health. He said he believed Mr Henry did not meet the criteria for an insanity plea, and was instead suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the murder.   

He said Mr Henry had an "awareness" of his actions.

"He knew he was injuring her. He knew the assault was likely to result in her death, so I think he did have an awareness of what he was doing," explained Dr Fahy.

"I think his actions were very focused and deliberate. It was a multi-faceted assault on his mother with a knife, fists, feet and a broom stick handle," he added.

The court heard that Mr Henry had shown no remorse for his alleged actions and a lack of grief at the death of his mother. Since his arrest, Mr Henry has been detained in the Central Mental Hospital.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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