Psy­chi­a­trist points to ‘full-blown schiz­o­phrenic ill­ness’

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE COURT also heard that Su­san Sweeney re­ceived five stab wounds to her chest area and needed six units of blood as she had ‘a very dra­matic blood loss’ af­ter the stab­bing.

Con­sul­tant car­dotho­racic sur­geon Michael Tolan per­formed emer­gency surgery on Ms Sweeney to re­pair a lac­er­a­tion to her mi­ac­ardium, which, he said, ‘would surely have caused her death if left open’.

Garda John Deasy gave ev­i­dence, say­ing that shortly af­ter the stab­bing Daryl Sweeney flagged down the garda car, say­ing, ‘it’s me you’re look­ing for, I’m Daryl Sweeney’, and told Garda Deasy he had stabbed his mother a num­ber of times. He told Garda Deasy he be­lieved his fam­ily were spik­ing his drinks.

Con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trist Pro­fes­sor Pa­tri­cia Casey said Daryl was treated in 2003 for a psy- chotic ill­ness where he had lost con­tact with re­al­ity be­liev­ing the house to be bugged.

She said in Au­gust 2008 he be­gan to think his fam­ily were try­ing to harm him.

At the time of the stab­bing in Septem­ber 2008 his state of mind was ‘ex­tremely dis­turbed’.

Pro­fes­sor Casey said he had been hear­ing two voices and th­ese au­di­tory hal­lu­ci­na­tions are typ­i­cal of a schiz­o­phrenic. He was also suf­fer­ing from per­se­cu­tory delu­sions and showed cata­tonic traits. She said he had re­ceived elec­tro­con­vul­sive treat­ment, which was a rare treat­ment, when ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal af­ter the stab­bing as he was ‘ex­tremely, ex­tremely ill’.

She said he is still suf­fer­ing from a men­tal dis­or­der and should be in­vol­un­tar­ily de­tained, but said he was re­spond­ing to treat­ment.

Pro­fes­sor Casey said it was her opin­ion that Daryl Sweeney is suf­fer­ing from a ‘ full- blown schiz­o­phrenic ill­ness’ and ‘ his be­hav­iour meets the cri­te­ria for in­san­ity un­der Sec­tion Five of the In­san­ity Act in that he was suf­fer­ing from per­se­cu­tory delu­sions and didn’t know what he was do­ing was wrong’.

For the state, bar­ris­ter Paul Mur­ray said it was a ‘ very sad case’ and said there were three ver­dicts open to the jury, guilty, not guilty or not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity.

For Sweeney, bar­ris­ter Ed Sweet­man said it was his be­lief that the only ver­dict the jury should re­turn was not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity. ‘ This is a very sad case, a tragic case of a young man who clearly had a sig­nif­i­cant men­tal ill­ness from 2003.’

Af­ter some 40 min­utes de­lib­er­a­tion the jury of six men and six women re­turned a ver­dict of not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity.

Sweeney was re­manded in cus­tody un­til to­mor­row ( Wed­nes­day) to al­low for a med­i­cal report.

■ Gar­daí at the Sweeneys’ house in Septem­ber 2008.

■ Pro­fes­sor Pa­tri­cia Casey.

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