Accused ‘cannot recall’ fatal stabbing of his mother

The Cork man on trial for murdering his mother was freaked out about not being able to talk to women and he drank two bottles of wine before allegedly arguing with his mother and stabbing her in the back of the head with considerable force.

Paul Horgan, who is on trial for the murder of his mother

Paul Horgan, aged 27, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his mother Marian, aged 60, at the family home at Murmont Avenue in Montenotte in Cork on November 24, 2015.

Questioned by Garda Mark Durcan, who arrested him on the morning in question, Mr Horgan said he stayed up watching television for the night — six or seven episodes of Family Guy and the Harry Potter film Deathly Hallows Part II.

He said he could not remember arguing with his mother when she got up at around 7am but added that he did not think he would want to remember.

Asked if he would often drink two bottles of wine, he replied:

“When things are bad, things going through my head, freaking myself out because I cannot talk to women. That is all I think about... I was drinking to forget.”

He said the last time he had a girlfriend was two years beforehand and she went off with someone else.

He said that, on the Halloween weekend (about three weeks before the attack), he had fallen outside the Old Oak pub on Oliver Plunkett St after about four pints and had to be taken to hospital and his mother had not really spoken to him since then.

He put one of the empty wine bottles back on the wine rack because he wanted to replace it before his mother noticed it was missing.

Asked about stabbing his mother, cuts to his father’s head, and being seen coming out of the house carrying two knives, he replied this would explain the cuts to his own hands.

He then said: “Is my dad all right? Knives! What the fuck. I will probably get life. I never did anything like this before.”

Questioned in detail across a series of interviews at Mayfield Garda Station, Mr Horgan said he could not remember arguing with his mother, stabbing her, or inflicting head wounds on his father.

One of the detectives asked: “What type of person could put a knife in the back of your mother’s head?”

Again, Mr Horgan said he did not remember what happened.

He did say:

“I was the only one in the house that could have done anything like that. It was obviously me. I have listened to statements saying it was me. I still don’t remember.”

He added later: “I obviously did it.”

Defence senior counsel Tim O’Leary said Mr Horgan was saying he did not remember but that the witnesses were not lying and he was not putting up some alternative story or alleging self-defence or anything like that.

Mr O’Leary said this had been a very nice, decent family before this happened and that, apart from Mr Horgan’s attention deficit, which held him back a bit in his education, things had been relatively normal.

The accused had been studying IT and playing Gaelic football with his local club, Brian Dillon’s.

Pathologist Margaret Bolster told the trial cause of death was haemorrhage and shock due to a stab wound to the head.

Dr Bolster said this wound cut through the base of the bone of the skull through the jugular vein and penetrated the tongue.

The broken blade of the knife was found in this fatal wound. She suggested that this wound would have been inflicted from the back and with considerable force. Other wounds looked like they were inflicted from the front.

She said there was a hand injury, which was a defensive wound.

Detective Garda Derry Griffin, who examined the scene of the crime, found a number of blood-stained knives inside the house.

The case continues before Mr Justice Pat McCarthy and a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Cork.


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