A 47-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for attempting to murder his dying mother in January 2012.

Gerald Vollrath pleaded guilty last week to the attempted murder of 83-year-old Vera Vollrath at a nursing home in Killure, Co Waterford.

The court heard he held a pillow over her face while he was keeping vigil by her deathbed.

He was originally charged with murder, but that charge was dropped because pathological tests showed no signs of suffocation and could not prove that she was not already dead.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said he took into account the fact that Vollrath was entirely motivated by compassion and his motivation was in no way malevolent.

He took into account the desire of the Vollrath family for compassion, Vollrath's early guilty plea, his full cooperation and remorse, and his lack of previous convictions.

He imposed a three-year sentence but suspended it on Vollrath entering into a bond to be of good behaviour.

After Vollrath entered the bond, Mr Justice Carney told him he was free to go.