Man charged with arson causing mother's death to undergo 'battery of psychological tests'

The court heard the psychiatrist said such assessments were needed to examine the possibility the accused has intellectual disabilities
Man charged with arson causing mother's death to undergo 'battery of psychological tests'

Guenter Lohse (pictured) has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life. File picture: Sorcha Crowley

A judge has granted a request to have a clinical psychologist carry out assessments on a man charged in connection with a fire which resulted in the death of his mother.

German national Guenter Lohse, 61, appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co. Donegal after being charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

It follows the death of his mother in a fire at Coolvoy, Doochary, Donegal on Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

The man's solicitor, Mr Tom MacSharry, said the psychiatrist at Castlerea Prison, Dr O'Keeffe, said such assessments were needed to examine the possibility the accused has intellectual disabilities. He added that fortunately his client had now been taken off suicide watch.

Judge Deirdre Gearty agreed to the application for what was described by Mr McSharry as "a battery of tests" on the accused.

She asked Garda Sergeant Sean McDaid what stage the investigation was at in relation to the directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Sgt McDaid said they had been informed by the office of the State Pathologist that it would take between six and eight weeks.

Judge Gearty adjourned the case until June 20 for an appearance by videolink. She had previously asked gardaí to encourage the DPP to expedite matters as quickly as possible as Mr Lohse was still in custody.

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