Man goes on trial for murder of his mother

Tuesday 29 April 2014 23.00
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Paul Henry denies murdering his mother
Paul Henry denies murdering his mother
The trial is expected to last for up to three days
The trial is expected to last for up to three days

A 28-year-old man has gone on trial charged with the murder of his mother three years ago.

Paul Henry denies the murder of Ann Henry at The Spinney, Abbeytown, Co Roscommon, on 17 September 2011.

Mr Henry was living in the house at the time of the incident.

The trial is taking place at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Castlebar, before Mr Justice Paul Carney.

A jury of six women and six men has been empanelled to hear evidence. The trial is expected to last up to three days.

In her opening address to the jury, Úna Ní Raifeartaigh, SC for the Prosecution, said most of the facts of the case were not in dispute.

She said the accused and his mother had been cleaning the house on the afternoon in question when a row broke out.

The State alleges that Mr Henry stabbed Mrs Henry a number of times and that when she stumbled outside, he pushed her to the ground and kicked her repeatedly.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 2.15pm.

Gardaí arrested Mr Henry and brought him to Roscommon Garda Station for questioning.

Mrs Henry was pronounced dead at 2.51pm.

In his evidence, Detective Inspector Patrick Finlay outlined the course of the investigation into the death.

The court heard a number of witnesses had seen Mrs Henry being kicked and beaten on the ground outside the house.

One witness told gardaí that the 47-year-old had been kicked repeatedly in the face, head, ribs and back.

Another told how he saw the assailant "laying into" Mrs Henry.

A post-mortem examination showed that Mrs Henry died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

She also sustained numerous bruises to several areas of her body prior to death.

When he was interviewed following his arrest, Mr Henry denied having any part in the attack that led to his mother's death.

He told gardaí that his mother had left the house and when he went outside, he found her covered in blood.

The jury heard that there had been concerns about Mr Henry's mental wellbeing since childhood.

He had difficulties in school and there were further problems after he left the education system.

His mother had expressed concerns for her son's wellbeing in the months before her death.

These culminated in Mr Henry being admitted involuntarily to a mental hospital for a number of weeks in July 2011.

He was released back into the community after three weeks, when Mental Health Tribunal review decided he was fit for release.

Mr Henry has been detained at the Central Mental Hospital since his arrest.