Man tried to kill mentally ill wife 'because she would not stop talking'

A 48 year-old Waterford man tried to kill his mentally ill wife by hitting her with a hammer because she would not stop talking, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

Fintan Murphy (48), with an address at Waterford Regional Hospital, was originally charged with the attempted murder of his wife, Margret Murphy on October 19, 2008.

However, the DPP accepted his plea at the Central Criminal Court in May of this year of guilty to assault causing serious harm.

Mr Murphy also pleaded guilty to attempting to cause serious harm on the same date at Ardmore Park, Ballybeg in Waterford.

Detective Garda Gerard Whelan of Waterford garda station told the court that Mr Murphy made a 999 call at approximately 8am on the morning of the attack.

He told gardai: "I just tried to kill my wife. She is full of blood and has injuries to her head."

When gardaí arrived at the scene they found Mr Murphy soaked in blood and he indicated that his wife was upstairs.

There gardaí discovered Ms Murphy lying on a bed conscious and covered in blood.

Mr Murphy was taken to Waterford garda station where he made a full admission in the course of interviews.

He said: "I hit her with a hammer because she wouldn’t stop talking. I just wanted to shut her up she just talks and talks."

When asked by gardaí if he intended to kill his wife the accused replied: "Yes, I wanted to keep her quiet by hitting her with the hammer and then hang myself with a belt."

Mr Murphy told gardaí his wife suffered from Bi-polar disorder and was having an episode in the hours prior to the attack.

The court heard that due to her illness Ms Murphy imagined there were people outside the house and she could not sleep because she was nervous.

The accused told gardai he took a hammer from a bedroom at the back of the house when his wife was in the bathroom and then hit her with it.

Ms Murphy suffered a total of eight lacerations to her scalp and two fractured bones in her left hand but has since made a full recovery from her physical injuries.

In a statement to garadí Ms Murphy said she had been married to the accused for seven years and he had never hurt her before.

She said: "He would do anything for me, go anywhere for me. He is the best in the world."

Det Gda Whelan said that Ms Murphy was currently a patient in the psychiatric department of Waterford Regional Hospital where she has been receiving treatment since January of this year.

The court heard the accused suffered from clinical depression and at the time of the incident had not taken his medication for two months.

He has been receiving full-time psychiatric care at Waterford Regional Hospital since December 2008.

Defence counsel told the court Mr Murphy has no previous convictions or history of violent behaviour prior to the attack.

Previously, the court heard medical evidence from Dr Darina Sloan, consultant psychiatrist at St Otterans hospital in Waterford, who said Mr Murphy suffered from an ongoing psychiatric illness and was severely depressed at the time of the incident.

Dr Sloan had told the court the accused possessed an extremely low risk of re-offending if he was not jailed and the biggest risk he possessed was self-harm.

She described Mr Murphy as a shy individual with a very low IQ and a difficulty processing information and solving problems.

The court had heard Mr Murphy was in regular contact with his wife receiving frequent phone calls and hospital visits.

Mr Justice Paul Carney ordered that Mr Murphy continue to be remanded on bail until sentencing on Friday morning.

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