herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Man who killed mum sent to mental hospital

Fionn Braidwood, hidden by coat, is schizophrenic
Fionn Braidwood, hidden by coat, is schizophrenic

A 32-year-old man who stabbed his mother to death with a kitchen knife has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

Fionn Braidwood, of Clarinda Park East, Dun Laoghaire, had been charged with murdering retired psychiatrist Jane Braidwood (65) on January 20 last year at the same address.

He pleaded not guilty when he appeared before the Central Criminal Court.

He also denied assault causing harm to Ceili Braidwood and Anthony Maguire at the same address on the same day.

Last week, a jury returned verdicts of not guilty by reason of insanity on the three counts.

Prosecution counsel Alex Owens yesterday called Dr Sally Linehan, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital, to give evidence.

She said she has had a role in Mr Braidwood's care at the hospital since August and that she assessed him earlier this week for the purposes of preparing a report for the court.

She said Mr Braidwood, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and depression, was transferred to the hospital in January last year.

Delusions

"It's my view that Mr Braidwood has responded to treatment, but to date there has only been a partial response," she said.

"His delusions have resolved, but he still has low mood, social withdrawal and a lack of motivation.

"In my view, he has a mental disorder."

The court heard that while Mr Braidwood had made some progress in acknowledging that he requires medication, this insight remains partial.

"In my view, he requires in-patient care and treatment in a designated centre and the Central Mental Hospital is that centre," she said.

Dr Linehan said Mr Braidwood remained on medication to treat both his schizophrenia and depression and would do sop for the foreseeable future.

She then recommended to the court that Mr Braidwood be committed to the hospital and confirmed that there was a bed available for him.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart made an order committing Mr Braidwood to the hospital for in-patient care.

During the trial, the court heard that Ms Braidwood died after receiving three stab wounds to her chest.

Two consultant psychiatrists gave evidence during the trial that Mr Braidwood was suffering from schizophrenia and would have been unable to refrain from his actions.

They both said he met the requirements for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

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