MAN NOT GUILTY DUE TO IN­SAN­ITY

GREYSTONES 26-YEAR-OLD STABBED HIS MOTHER SEV­ERAL TIMES

Bray People - - NEWS -

A MAN WHO stabbed his mother sev­eral times leav­ing her in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion was found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity at Wicklow Cir­cuit Court last week.

Daryl Sweeney (26), 243 Charles­land Park, Greystones, was charged with as­sault­ing his mother, Su­san Sweeney, caus­ing her harm, as­sault­ing his mother caus­ing her se­ri­ous harm and pro­duc­tion of a knife in the course of the as­sault at their home in Charles­land Park on Septem­ber 8, 2008.

Sweeney’s case was only be­fore the court last week as he was pre­vi­ously found to be un­fit to be tried be­cause of men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties.

Sweeney’s mother, Su­san Sweeney (52), wasn’t in court to give ev­i­dence against her son but her state­ment was read into the court.

In it she said that in Septem­ber 2008 she lived with Daryl and her daugh­ter Claire in Charles­land Park, hav­ing moved there from their pre­vi­ous home in Kil­mantin Park, Bray a month pre­vi­ously.

She said she had sep­a­rated from Daryl and Claire’s fa­ther, Jerome, some time prior to the move.

In the state­ment she out­lined that when Daryl was five years old she had taken him to a psy­chi­a­trist af­ter he had said he wanted to kill him­self. He saw the psy­chi­a­trist for six weeks and re­ceived no fur­ther treat­ment.

She said Daryl didn’t have a good re­la­tion­ship with his fa­ther and was ‘from time to time’ as­saulted by his fa­ther.

In 2003 when he was 17 years old she said Daryl be­came para­noid and said the walls of the house were bugged. ‘He was mak­ing no sense and ap­peared to have mad eyes’.

He even­tu­ally calmed down and af­ter be­ing ex­am­ined by a doc­tor agreed to go vol­un­tar­ily to New­cas­tle Hospi­tal.

How­ever, on the way he changed his mind and in the end gar­daí and an am­bu­lance had to be called to bring him to New­cas­tle.

He stayed there for a week and re­ceived fol­low-up treat­ment and med­i­ca­tion in­clud­ing an anti-psy­chotic. He ap­peared to be do­ing well and started so­cial­is­ing again.

In 2007 he was con­tin­u­ing to do well, and un­der med­i­cal su­per­vi­sion he was weaned off his med­i­ca­tion, be­com­ing med­i­ca­tion-free in early 2008.

On Au­gust 29, 2008 he went with her to buy a mi­crowave and was ‘in good from and said I was a great woman and any­thing that had hap­pened wasn’t my fault’.

She went onto say that the fol­low­ing day he went miss­ing for a num­ber of days. While he was gone she re­ceived two texts from him which were un­usual. One read: ‘I will be home soon Su­san’. The other read: ‘See you in hell you damn bi**h’.

Some days af­ter he went miss­ing he called her from a pay­phone in Heuston Sta­tion and asked her to col­lect him, say­ing he had been sleep­ing rough in Wex­ford and Water­ford. His bag had been stolen. Ms Sweeney’s state­ment out­lined how Daryl ‘ap­peared very anx­ious’ and it was sug­gested that he go back on his med­i­ca­tion, but he said he didn’t want to.

On the day of the stab­bing she re­turned home at 7pm and he was sit­ting on the couch do­ing maths with the knife be­side him. He had a new phone and she thought he had been us­ing it to open the bat­tery com­part­ment.

In her state­ment she said she saw Daryl put a chair against the sit­ting room door and she ‘im­me­di­ately got wor­ried and afraid’. ‘ He came to­wards me’, she said.

‘I don’t re­mem­ber say­ing any­thing and he raised his left arm and lunged at me stab­bing me in the up­per body. I could feel the knife stab­bing into my body.’

She said she re­mained on the couch try­ing to pro­tect her­self and shouted up at her daugh­ter Claire to get out of the house be­cause ‘Daryl had gone mad’.

She told how she at­tempted to stop the bleed­ing with her hand say­ing she was ‘ bleed­ing very heavy’.

In her state­ment Ms Sweeney said ‘ he was com­pletely va­cant’. ‘His eyes were dead,’ she said.

She said her son left the house, jump­ing off the bal­cony, and she was afraid he’d come back.

Her daugh­ter Claire came down the stairs and gained ac­cess to the sit­ting room and called the emer­gency ser­vices. ‘Claire told me not to die. I knew I was se­ri­ously in­jured.

‘Prior to the stab­bing ev­ery­thing seemed nor­mal.’

She went on to say: ‘ If Daryl got treat­ment I think that over time we could have a good re­la­tion­ship again. I be­lieve when he stabbed me he wasn’t in his right mind.’

Both Daryl Sweeney’s sis­ters, Cathy and Claire, gave ev­i­dence of how he had be­come ag­i­tated and with­drawn in the lead-up to the stab­bing and how he en­joyed a close re­la­tion­ship with their mother.

They were also in court to sup­port him through­out the trial, as was his cousin Pa­trick O’Brien.

The court heard that Daryl Sweeney has been in the Cen­tral Men­tal Hospi­tal in Dublin since Septem­ber 2008.

Daryl Sweeney at a pre­vi­ous court sit­ting at Bray Court­house.

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