Man who killed mother fulfils criteria for insanity verdict, says psychiatrist

A psychiatrist has told a court he believes a Co Kilkenny man who fatally attacked his mother at the family home last year was suffering from a mental disorder.

Niall Stapleton admits killing 51-year-old Siobhan Stapleton at Glebe Lodge, Kilfane, Thomastown, on May 25, last year but denies murder by reason of insanity.

While in the care of the Central Mental Hospital, Niall Stapleton told a psychiatrist he attacked his mother Siobhan because he believed she was an imposter.

He said he was watching her silhouette doing laundry in the garage when he picked up a spade handle.

The court heard he recalled swinging at his mother two or three times until she fell to the ground and that he then realised what he had done.

Psychiatrist Dr Steven Monks, for the defence, said it is his view that at the time of the attack Niall Stapleton showed active symptoms of schizophrenia.

He believes the 32-year-old didn't know the nature or quality of the act, that it was wrong, nor was he able to stop himself from doing it.

It is Dr Monks's opinion that Niall Stapleton fulfils the criteria for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

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