herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Psychiatric patient charged in murder of mother-of-three

A PSYCHIATRIC patient who appeared before the courts charged with the murder of another patient and mother-of-three is to receive medical attention.

Paul Cuddihy (36), with an address at St Otteran's Psychiatric Hospital, John's Hill, Waterford, last night appeared before a special sitting of Waterford District Court.

Mr Cuddihy, a psychiatric patient, was charged with the murder of Maria O'Brien (55), a grandmother and mother-of-three grown-up children, after an incident which unfolded in the hospital on Friday night.

Detective Sergeant Donal Donohue from Waterford Station told the brief special sitting that he formally arrested Mr Cuddihy and charged him on September 6. In reply to the charge, the garda told the court the defendant made "no comment".

Barrister Tara Geoghegan, instructed by solicitor Hilary Delahunty, applied to have the defendant psychiatrically accessed.

She also applied for legal aid and said the defendant had no means.

Judge Kevin Staunton granted legal aid and directed that the defendant receive medical and psychiatric attention and remanded him in custody to Tuesday next.

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The victim had been a long term patient in the hospital for the past 10 years.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on her body by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Curtis at Waterford University Hospital.

Members of the victim's family, including her former partner William Halley and her son Patrick Halley, attended the brief court hearing last night and later called for a review of the safety and well being of mental patients and staff at the hospital.

"Maria was a kind-hearted person who would go out of her way to help anybody and she was a loving mother and grandmother. She will be dearly missed by her family," the statement added.

The family said they wished a full recovery to the injured female patient, who attempted to protect Maria, as well as the female staff member who came on the scene of the incident.

hnews@herald.ie

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