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Doctor found not guilty of three-year-old son's murder by reason of insanity

Maha Al Adheem pleaded not guilty to murdering Omar Omran on 10 July 2017.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A DOCTOR WHO stabbed her three-year old autistic son to death in their south Dublin home has been found not guilty of his murder by reason of insanity.

Kuwaiti national Maha Al Adheem (43) said; “I did it, I stabbed my son and then stabbed myself” when gardai arrived at the scene.

A large amount of blood was observed on Al Adheem’s hands and clothing before the boy’s body was found lying in the middle of a bed in the one bedroom apartment. 

Omar Omran was stabbed 20 times, mainly to the trunk of his body. Four stab wounds had penetrated his lungs and heart, severing a vital artery.

His cause of death was multiple stab wounds to his chest, abdomen and trunk as well as to his right thigh. There were signs of defensive injuries to his right hand and a silver stainless steel knife was found at the top of the bed. 

Al Adheem, with an address at Riverside, Poddle Park, Kimmage, Dublin 12 had pleaded not guilty to murdering Omar Omran on 10 July 2017 at the same address. 

Two consultant psychiatrists gave evidence during the Central Criminal Court trial that Al Adheem was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia in July 2017.

The defendant was unable to appreciate that what she did at the time was morally wrong and would have been unable to refrain from her actions, they said. The doctor met the requirements for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, the court heard. 

On the first day of the trial, defence counsel Anne Rowland made a number of admissions on behalf of her client including that Al Adheem had inflicted stab wounds to the deceased and rang emergency services at 6.40pm on 10 July reporting that her son was dead.

Patrick Gageby, also defending, told the court this morning that he would like to repeat and add to one of the section 22 admissions which his colleague Rowland had previously made. 

The body of Omar Omran was removed to the Mater Hospital and then to the city morgue where an autopsy revealed stab wounds, which were inflicted by Al Adheem who had the requisite intention required by the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, Gageby said. 

The jury of nine men and three women spent one hour and 46 minutes deliberating today before bringing in a unanimous verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

After they had delivered their verdict, Justice Eileen Creedon thanked the jury for their care and attention to this very difficult case. 

The judge exempted them from jury service for the next five years and wished them a happy Christmas.

Justice Creedon then made an order committing Al Adheem to go to the Central Mental Hospital today and to be brought back before the court tomorrow morning at midday. 

The judge also directed the preparation of a psychiatric assessment by an approved medical officer. 

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Alison O'Riordan

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