Psychiatric patient fanaticised about going to prison, court hears

Psychiatric patient fanaticised about going to prison, court hears

The Central Criminal Court has today heard that a man smothered a fellow patient in a psychiatric unit because he had been fantasizing about going to prison.

Ian Harman, with an address at Carrigallen Mountain Lodge, Cootehill, had a mental disorder when he killed 82-year-old Michael Traynor at Cavan General Hospital in June 2011.

Harman was charged with murder, but during his trial in July the DPP accepted his plea of guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

The court heard the 50-year-old was admitted to the psychiatric unit of Cavan General Hospital in June 2011 after making an attempt on his own life.

At around 6.30am on Sunday, June 27, he smothered fellow patient 82-year-old Michael Traynor in his bed using a belt and a pillow.

He immediately told nursing staff what he had done.

The court has heard he was depressed, and suffering withdrawal symptoms from the anti-psychotic drug Olanzapine.

The victim's nephew Michael McKenna described his uncle Mick as a fine country gentleman with a keen sense of wit and he expressed concern that the judicial system seemed to favour the defendant.

Sentencing will be finalised next week.


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