Psychiatrists disagree on whether insanity verdict open to husband accused of murdering wife – The Irish Times

A Central Criminal Court jury has been told two psychiatrists disagree on whether a man who is accused of murdering his wife at their rural home in Mayo five years ago satisfies the criteria for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), opened the trial of James Kilroy (51) saying she expects the accused to accept he killed his wife, Valerie French Kilroy (41).

Ms Kilroy, counsel said, had a violent death having suffered blunt force trauma, strangulation and a stab wound in the rural bungalow she shared with the accused on a road between Castlebar and Westport.

Ms Lawlor told the jury of eight women and four men that they will hear from a psychiatrist called by the defence who will say Mr Kilroy had a mental disorder — cannabis-induced psychosis — at the time of the killing.

The psychiatrist will say Mr Kilroy meets the criteria for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, said counsel.

The prosecution will call a psychiatrist who will say in his opinion that the accused does not satisfy the criteria for an insanity verdict. Ms Lawlor said intoxication is not a defence to a murder charge and is not insanity under the law. The jury will therefore hear from two toxicologists as to whether it could be said Mr Kilroy was intoxicated when he killed his wife.

At the end of the trial, Ms Lawlor said she expects there will be four possible verdicts available to the jury. The DPP’s position, she said, is that he is guilty of murder. Mr Kilroy says he is not guilty by reason of insanity. It will also be available to the jury to find him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter on the grounds that his responsibility for the killing was substantially diminished by a mental disorder.

There is the further possibility of a not-guilty verdict, but Ms Lawlor said she does “not see how that arises in this case”.

Mr Kilroy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering his wife at Kilbree Lower, Westport, Co Mayo, between June 13th and June 14th, 2019.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and the jury.

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