Monday 23 April 2018

Son who beheaded mother is ordered to remain in hospital

James Dunleavy found guilty of killing his mother in Edinburgh
James Dunleavy found guilty of killing his mother in Edinburgh

Brian Horne

A SON who beheaded his mother and buried her dismembered body in a shallow grave must stay in hospital, a judge has ordered.

Psychiatrists at the State Hospital, Carstairs, near Glasgow, are still trying to assess killer James Dunleavy's mental condition.

An earlier trial heard harrowing evidence suggesting that Philomena Dunleavy (66) may still have been alive, but unconscious, when her son began to hack off her legs with a knife and saw. But the horror of her final moments at the hands of James (40) will probably never be known.

Mother-of-five Mrs Dunleavy had left her home on Annadale Crescent, Marino, Dublin, in early April last year and arrived in Scotland on April 24 to visit her eldest son James – also known as Seamus.

Days later she was dead – butchered in the labourer's flat in Balgreen Road, Edinburgh.

It was more than a month before Mrs Dunleavy's remains were unearthed, just a few minutes' walk away.

Dunleavy denied murder.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh convicted him, by majority, of a reduced charge of culpable homicide. They also found him guilty of the attempted cover-up.

Judge Lord Jones told Dunleavy then: "You require to be detained under conditions of such security as can be provided in the State Hospital."

Yesterday, the judge continued his interim order for the doctors to continue their work.

Police launched Operation Sandpiper, appealing for help to identify the body. Mrs Dunleavy's claddagh ring took the search to Ireland.

Police heard about a shouting match between Dunleavy and his mother about her supposed affair with another man.

She was said to have walked out on her husband, retired painter James Dunleavy (68) – although he insisted they were still man and wife.

Dunleavy is due back in court in June.

Irish Independent

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