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Man who stabbed mother to death with kitchen knife found not guilty by reason of insanity

32-year-old Fionn Braidwood stabbed his mother to death at the family home in Dublin in January 2015.

21/1/2015  Jane Braidwood Crime Scenes Source: Rollingnews.ie

A 32-YEAR-OLD man who stabbed his retired psychiatrist mother to death with a kitchen knife and was found not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity, has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital.

Fionn Braidwood with an address at Clarinda Park East, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin was charged with murdering his mother Jane Braidwood (65) on 20 January, 2015 at the same address.

Braidwood pleaded not guilty to murdering his mother at the Central Criminal Court. He also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Ceili Braidwood and Anthony Maguire at the same address and on the same date.

On 6 December, after a period of 32 minutes deliberating, a jury of two men and ten women returned verdicts of not guilty by reason of insanity on the three counts.

Today prosecution counsel Alex Owens SC called Dr Sally Linehan, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) to give evidence.

Linehan said she has had a role in Braidwood’s care at the CMH since August 2016 and she assessed him on 11 December for the purposes of preparing this report.

Linehan said that Braidwood was transferred to the CMH in January 2015 and that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and depression.

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

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

“In my view he requires inpatient care and treatment in a designated centre and the CMH is that centre,” she said.

Dr Linehan said that Braidwood remains on medication to treat both his schizophrenia and depression and he will remain on medication for the foreseeable future.

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

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said she had heard the evidence from Dr Linehan and how Braidwood suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and depression.

Justice Stewart then made an order committing Braidwood to the CMH for inpatient care.

During the trial the court heard that retired psychiatrist Jane Braidwood died after receiving three stab wounds to her chest.

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

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

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Alison O'Riordan

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