Ireland Mother judged insane over the death of her daughter gets bail as mental hospital is full
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A mother found to have been insane when she smothered her child with a pillow cannot be committed to the Central Mental Hospital because the facility has reached "full capacity in its quota of female patients".
Instead the 43-year-old woman, who cannot be named by order of the court, continues to be released on bail.
A barrister for the HSE told the Central Criminal Court that every effort is being made to secure a bed, and it was hoped that the matter would be resolved by today.
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On Wednesday, the mother was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of her three-year-old daughter in their family home nearly two years ago.
Yesterday prosecution counsel Paul Murray SC told Mr Justice Michael White that the trial judge, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, had made an order committing the defendant to the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).
This was for the preparation of a psychiatric assessment by an approved medical officer. The matter was to be brought back before the court on November 5, he indicated.
However, Mr Murray said no bed was made available for the woman so the order could not be complied with. "This came as news to all parties concerned," he remarked.
The court had to be reconvened with Ms Justice Stewart, where she vacated the committal order and admitted the defendant on bail, said Mr Murray. The lawyer reminded the court that the woman had been granted bail with certain conditions in July of this year.
Mother who smothered daughter with pillow found not guilty by reason of insantiy
Mother who smothered daughter with pillow found not guilty by reason of insantiyThe two-day trial at the Central Criminal Court also heard that the woman described to gardai how she held the pillow over the child’s face as she struggled and screamed. Her three-year-old daughter called out for her daddy and finally let out a sigh, she said.
The only bail condition which could not be continued was her surety as the trial had now come to an end, said Mr Murray, adding there was no objection from the prosecution to this.
Dr Ronan Mullaney, the defendant's treating consultant psychiatrist, gave evidence that his patient's application was not of the most immediate urgency, said Mr Murray.
As a result, Ms Justice Stewart vacated the woman's committal order and released her on bail, he said.
Peter Finlay SC, for the HSE, informed the court that every effort is being made to secure a bed for the woman but the CMH had reached full capacity in its quota of female patients.
"The CMH had made arrangements in anticipation of the verdict to transfer another woman to a third-party facility but it became clear that this facility was not appropriate for her," he said.
Addressing the defendant, Mr Justice White said: "There is a mandatory obligation on the court to get a report in order to see whether you need further treatment or not and there is a mandatory time for doing that."
Mother can't be committed to CMH as it has reached 'full capacity in its quota of female patients', court hears
The woman was yesterday found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of her three-year-old daughter.A barrister for the HSE told the Central Criminal Court today that every effort is being made to secure a bed for the woman and it was hoped that the matter would be resolved by tomorrow morning.
The judge remanded the woman on continuing bail until today and said he hoped the matter would be resolved by then.
The two-day trial at the Central Criminal Court heard that the woman described to gardaí how she held the pillow over the child's face as she struggled and screamed. Her toddler called out for her daddy and finally let out a sigh, she said.
The woman became "obsessed" and "overwhelmed" with the infant's autism diagnosis and convinced herself that the toddler had a more severe form of autism - when in reality the diagnosis was at the milder end of the spectrum.
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