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Murder accused said 'I might be evil', court told

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  Philomena Dunleavy. Photo: PA

Philomena Dunleavy. Photo: PA

Philomena Dunleavy. Photo: PA

A MAN accused of beheading his mother told a friend, "I might be evil", a court has heard.

James Dunleavy allegedly murdered Philomena (66) before burying her remains in a shallow grave.

The 40-year-old, who denies battering her to death and trying to cover it up, allegedly told friend and shop manager Mohammed Razaq he had been "hearing voices" before the body was found last June.

Mr Razaq told Edinburgh's High Court Mr Dunleavy visited his shop one evening and stayed until closing time.

"His opening comment to me was 'I might be evil, I might be hearing voices in my head'," Mr Razaq said.

"My reply was, 'That is the devil in your head talking to you. Keep the Koran beside yourself to protect yourself', and he said, 'That does not work'."

Dunleavy also allegedly told him, "Soon your faith will be tested," but did not explain what he meant.

The defendant is alleged to have inflicted "blunt force trauma", compressed his mother's throat and cut off her head and legs. He is also said to have put her remains in a suitcase and buried them.

He is further accused of pretending that she was unwell and had returned home to Martimo, Dublin, after a visit to his flat in Edinburgh.

Mr Razaq (40) said there was a bond between the two men "like brothers" and that he had a set of keys for Dunleavy's flat.

But he also told how their relationship broke down after he saw his friend argue with his mother after she split from his father and moved in with another man.

Dunleavy claimed that she had been "brainwashed" by a group of women he called "the witches".

"I was concerned I had left them in a state of not being friends," said Mr Razaq.

When he tried to visit them the following evening, Dunleavy would not let him in.

UNWELL

Mr Razaq told the hearing that Dunleavy said to him: "My mum is not well. She is sleeping. You cannot come in tonight."

Mr Razaq said his last meeting with his friend was at their local mosque, when Dunleavy refused to shake his hand and Mr Razaq returned his keys.

The witness agreed with defence QC Gordon Jackson that although there had been "a lively discussion" between Dunleavy and his mother about her marriage break-up, there had been no threat of violence.

Dunleavy, also known as Seamus Dunleavy, denies battering his mother to death between April 30 and May 7 last year.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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