| 9.4°C Dublin

Hospital burglar couldn't deal with mum's beheading


Pill addict Kym Dunleavy

Pill addict Kym Dunleavy

Pill addict Kym Dunleavy

A medical secretary caught burgling a hospital to steal prescriptions had become addicted to sleeping tablets while trying to deal with the "gruesome" killing of her mother.

Kym Dunleavy developed a 20-tablet a day dependency after her brother James (41) was jailed for beheading and dismembering their mother Philomena (66) in 2013.

Blanchardstown District Court heard she had been unable to cope following the "gruelling ordeal" of the trial and the tablets "changed her personality".

Judge David McHugh jailed Dunleavy for six months.

Dunleavy (44), of St Joseph's Place, Dublin 7, admitted multiple counts of burglary, handling stolen property and possessing false prescriptions.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said Dunleavy entered a secretary's office in the Mater Private Hospital on December 19, 2016, and walked out with a prescription pad and doctor's stamp in her hand.

On May 25, 2016, she went into a nurses' station at the Mater and tried to put a prescription pad into her bag. She left without taking it but was identified on CCTV.

Dunleavy was also caught trying to pick up sleeping tablets from several pharmacies using forged prescriptions. She had 38 previous convictions.

Denleavy's mother was killed in 2013 and her body was found by a walker in Edinburgh, her barrister said.

The 2014 trial was described as a "gruelling ordeal".

"The means of her death was somewhat gruesome" and there were "body parts to be identified", the court heard.

"Ms Dunleavy was not in a position to deal with what was happening to her family at the time and never quite came to terms with it," she said.

Dunleavy realised the medication had changed her personality and "made her do things she wouldn't ordinarily have done".


The tablets were a "psychological comfort blanket" and her focus had been to get more of them to get through the day.

Judge McHugh noted the accused had been given a suspended sentence previously for similar offences.

James Dunleavy killed his mother following a row at his flat in Edinburgh.

He was convicted of culpable homicide due to diminished responsibility in 2017 and jailed for nine years.