Cuddihy murder trial: Son denies murdering parents by reason of insanity

Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy Image copyright Joe Boland
Image caption Jimmy Cuddihy was a retired schoolteacher originally from Kilkenny, and Kathleen Cuddihy was a retired nurse.

A man has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of his parents at their home in County Donegal almost two years ago.

Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy, who were in their 70s, were found dead just outside Carndonagh on 22 October 2014.

Their son, Julian Cuddihy, appeared at Dublin's Central Criminal Court on Tuesday.

The court heard he admitted killing his parents but the jury must decide his mental state at the time.

Counsel for the prosecution told the jury that forensic psychiatrists for both the prosecution and the defence are in agreement and will give evidence that Mr Cuddihy was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time.

The psychiatrists will also say that Mr Cuddihy, who was 42-years-old at the time, believed he was carrying out his parents' wishes and was helping them to secure a place in heaven.

The jury heard evidence from a post-mortem examination that the couple had severe head injuries.

The court was told that an axe and scissors were found at the scene.

Julian Cuddihy was arrested a short time later after it became known he had taken his father's car to a lake area near Clonmany.

The court heard that after his arrest, Mr Cuddihy asked gardai (Irish police) if they were telling him his parents were dead.

Mr Cuddihy has been receiving treatment at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum since his arrest.

The trial continues.

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