The Central Criminal Court has heard that a man who killed his parents at their home in Carndonagh almost two years ago was suffering from a mental disorder at the time.
Julian Cuddihy (44) has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of his parents Kathleen (73) and James (77) Cuddihy in October 2014.
The jury was told he admits killing his parents but the only matter for the jury to decide was his mental state at the time.
Counsel for the prosecution told the jury that forensic psychiatrists for both the prosecution and the defence are in agreement and will give evidence that Mr Cuddihy was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time.
The psychiatrists will also say that Mr Cuddihy believed he was carrying out his parents’ wishes at the time and was helping them to secure a place in heaven.
The jury will hear post-mortem evidence that the cause of death for James and Kathleen Cuddihy was severe head injuries, including chop wounds.
In his opening address to the jury, Denis Vaughan Buckley SC said the bodies of Kathleen and James Cuddihy were found by their other son and daughter at their home on October 23, 2014.
Both had severe injuries and an axe and a scissors were found at the scene.
Julian Cuddihy was arrested a short time later after it became known he had taken his father’s car to a lake area near Clonmanny.
He asked gardai after his arrest if they were telling him his parents were dead.
He has been receiving treatment at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum since his arrest.
The case continues with evidence to be given tomorrow
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Earlier this month, Cuddihy pleaded not guilty to the murder of his parents by reason of insanity.
Mr Cuddihy was presented with the Book of Evidence at Letterkenny District Court this morning