A hearing in the case of paediatric nurse Deirdre Morley, who smothered her three young children at their family home and was found not guilty of their murders by reason of insanity, has been adjourned until next week to allow time for lawyers to consider a psychiatric report.
The matter was due back before the court today, where it was expected that a consultant forensic psychiatrist from the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) would be called by the State to report on Ms Morley's condition and make recommendations for her ongoing care.
Highly trained clinical nurse Ms Morley (44), of Parson's Court, Newcastle, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of her sons Conor McGinley (9) and Darragh McGinley (7) and her daughter Carla McGinley (3). The children's bodies were discovered at the family home just before 8pm on January 24th last year.
On May 20th, Ms Morley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after a jury accepted the evidence given by two psychiatrists that the accused, who specialised in renal care at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin, was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the three killings and fulfilled the criteria for the special verdict.
The two consultant forensic psychiatrists called as expert witnesses during the trial were both in agreement that the accused was unable to appreciate what she had done was morally wrong and was unable to refrain from her actions.
Following the verdict 11 days ago, trial judge Mr Justice Paul Coffey made an order committing Ms Morley to the CMH in Dundrum until today so that an approved medical officer could prepare a psychiatric assessment.
Mr Justice Coffey, who appeared via video-link today from Anglesea Street Courthouse in Cork, said that he had only received the statutory report after 11am this morning with a passcode, which he was unable to use. "I've overcome that difficulty, but I have to rise in order to consider the report," he added.
In reply, prosecution counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor SC said the State had not received the report and she understood that there would be an application to adjourn the matter until June 8th.
The judge said he had also understood that the report would not be ready before today and that there would be an application to adjourn the hearing.
Barry Ward BL, for Ms Morley, said the defence had not yet considered the report.
Mr Justice Coffey said that both sides should be able to consider the content of the report and he would adjourn the matter until June 8 at 10.30am.
He remanded Ms Morley to the CMH and said he would finalise matters on the next occasion.
Ms Morley was not present in court for today's brief hearing.
Ms Morley's three-day trial at the Central Criminal Court, which the State called "a desperately sad case", heard that the accused had unsuccessfully attempted to drug her three children on the day before they were killed, having formulated a plan to then suffocate them in their sleep.