Man accused of stabbing fellow psychiatric patient 100 times felt it was 'kill or be killed'

Man accused of stabbing fellow psychiatric patient 100 times felt it was 'kill or be killed'

The Central Criminal Court has heard that a man accused of stabbing a woman 100 times was convinced he had to “kill or be killed” at the time.

Paul Cuddihy, a former resident of a psychiatric hospital in Waterford, has pleaded not guilty to murdering a fellow patient by reason of insanity.

Maria O’Brien died on Sept 5, 2014 after being attacked in a home she shared with Paul Cuddihy on the grounds of St Otteran’s hospital.

A staff nurse said she saw him standing over her with a knife. She said she was covered in blood on the kitchen floor.

The accused later told Dr Paul O’Connell, a forensic psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital, that he was “crazed” out of his head and thought he had to kill her to prevent something bad from happening to him or his family.

The court heard he has a history of paranoid schizophrenia going back to when he was 21 when he became convinced that his father had killed his mother.

The now 38-year-old has also had delusions about the Holy Ghost and once believed he was chosen as a martyr to die.

Both sides believe he was having a psychotic episode when he killed Ms O’Brien. The jury will ultimately have to decide whether or not he is not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity.

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