Tayside and Central Scotland

Alva woman charged over her son's death 'was insane'

Scott Chiriseri Image copyright Central Scotland News
Image caption Scott Chiriseri was found dead at his home in Alva

An Alva woman charged with murdering her five-year-old son has been acquitted after prosecutors accepted she was insane at the time.

Scott Chiriseri was found dead at his home in December 2014, and his mother Farai Chirashi was subsequently charged with murder.

The Crown Office has concluded that Mrs Chirashi, or Chiriseri, "was insane at the time of the incident".

She has been detained in a secure hospital.

Mrs Chirashi had been detained under mental health legislation the week after her son's death for assessment by doctors.

She faced an allegation that she had killed Scott at their Clackmannanshire home on 4 or 5 December by repeatedly striking him with knives.

However, she was formally acquitted after the High Court was told she was unable to "appreciate the nature and wrongfulness" of what had happened.

Lord Burns imposed a restriction order without limit of time, which will see Mrs Chirashi remain at a medium-security clinic in Edinburgh.

'Mission from God'

Consultant psychiatrist Dr John Crichton said Mrs Chirashi believed she was on "a special mission from God", and noted that her conversations involved "abnormal religious content".

He said she had a "schizophreniform psychotic illness" consisting of delusions and hallucinations, and said the case involved a "particularly disturbing" act of homicide.

A Crown Office spokesman confirmed that medical experts had concluded that the 32-year-old was not fit to stand trial.

He said: "The unanimous opinion of the expert reports available to the Crown concluded that the accused was insane at the time of the incident, and therefore could not, in law, be found to be responsible for her actions.

"We have therefore accepted that she was incapable by reason of mental illness of appreciating the nature or wrongfulness of her actions. The Crown is satisfied that the public will be protected by her detention in a secure hospital.

"The family of Scott Chiriseri have been kept informed of developments throughout the case."

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