Mother Not Guilty Of The Murder Of Her Children By Reason of Insanity

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Deirdre Morley

Deirdre Morley has been found NOT guilty of murdering her three children at the family home at Parson’s Court in Newcastle, Co Dublin by reason of insanity.

The 44-year-old nurse was found to be suffering from a severe mental illness when she killed her two sons, Conor and Darragh, and her daughter Carla, last year.

This morning, the jurors were reminded of the criteria needed to satisfy the legal threshold for a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

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Deirdre Morley admitted suffocating her two sons, nine-year-old Conor, seven-year-old Darragh and her three-year-old daughter, Carla, but the jury heard psychiatric evidence of a rapid decline in her mental health that led to a delusional belief that she was a bad mother who needed to take their lives to put them out of their misery.

Before they resumed their deliberations today, the judge also reminded them that the evidence is all one-way. He said both sides agreed the special verdict should be returned on each count.

Just after lunch, he told them he’d accept majority verdicts in the case and the jurors returned with special verdicts on each count this afternoon.

Ms Morley will now be further assessed in the Central Mental Hospital before a decision is made on the best course of action for her going forward.