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Saturday, June 16, 2012
The son of former Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa has been found not guilty through insanity of assaulting his father in their Dublin home.
The jury returned the verdict following a few minutes deliberation after being told by the judge that the appropriate verdict is not guilty under the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2010.
Fearghal De Rossa, aged 46, severely beat his father in an unprovoked attack. A passerby gave evidence that he was sure he was trying to kill the victim as he beat him with a shovel in front of their house.
Mr De Rossa Sr told the court that the only reason he had pursued the prosecution of his son was to get him to submit to psychiatric treatment.
Following the verdict, Judge Desmond Hogan committed De Rossa to the Central Mental Hospital for treatment.
The trial heard evidence from two psychiatrists that De Rossa suffers from a mental disorder and did not know what he was doing was wrong.
Judge Hogan said it was a tragic case and that the evidence was difficult to listen to. He told the jury it was "perfectly safe" to arrive at a verdict of not guilty through insanity.
Fearghal De Rossa, of Old Finglas Road, Glasnevin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to his father, now 72, at their home on Nov 11, 2011. Under the Criminal Law Insanity Act a person may use the defence of insanity if they can prove they suffered from a mental illness at the time which compelled them to commit the crime or prevented them understanding their actions.
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