Woman loses bid for damages

A woman found guilty but insane over the killing of her baby son was not entitled to damages over a refusal to allow her decide where she could live after her discharge from a mental institution, the High Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Robert Eagar said the psychiatric services had acted in her best interests and those of the public.

She was found guilty in the Central Criminal Court of the killing of her baby son and of the attempted killing of her young daughter.

In July 2012, the mental health review board granted her a conditional discharge back into the community.

She resided with her husband but was removed from the home by a CMH psychiatrist and went to live with her mother after reporting her husband had been verbally abusive.

At a later stage she made an application to be allowed decide herself where she should live. The review board agreed to vary the conditional discharge order to allow this, but CMH staff disagreed.

After the CMH refused to support the variation to the original conditional discharge, the review board, in December 2014, granted a full unconditional discharge.

In the meantime, the woman brought High Court proceedings challenging the CMH refusal to vary the conditional discharge. She also sought damages. The judge said he would not grant damages in circumstances where the CMH had acted in her and the public’s interests.


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