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Mother given suspended sentence for manslaughter of 8-year-old son

Diane Ward will released to a mental facility in Cork.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A CORK WOMAN has been given a suspended sentence for the manslaughter of her 8-year-old son in 2012.

Diane Ward of Harrison Place, Charleville, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her son in March.

A coroner’s hearing heard in 2012 that Anthony’s neck had been compressed on 3 September, 2012, the night before he was due to return to school.

Anthony’s body was discovered by Gardaí and family members just minutes after he was due back at school. He was to begin Third Class at the local primary.

RTÉ reports today that she will be released from the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum to a voluntary hospital in Cork, where she will remain until a suitable place for her to live is found.

A sentencing hearing in April heard that Ward had ingested a large amount of paracetamol from an envelope before she smothered her son with a pillow. Det Sgt Michael Corbet told the court that Ward had written a suicide note, in which she asked that the two be buried together.

The court had been told that Ward had a history of depressive illness and had attempted to take her own life on two occasions.

Read: Sentencing deferred in case of Cork mother who smothered son

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