Woman found not guilty of killing elderly father committed to Central Mental Hospital

Julie Flood (51) was found not guilty of the murder of her father Patrick Flood (94) by reason of insanity
Woman found not guilty of killing elderly father committed to Central Mental Hospital

Alison O'Riordan

A 51-year-old woman with paranoid schizophrenia and who was found not guilty of the murder of her elderly father by reason of insanity has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital on Thursday.

A Central Criminal Court judge made the order on Thursday afternoon, two weeks after a jury returned the special verdict following the trial of Julie Flood.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said on Thursday that, having regard to the fact that Ms Flood is suffering from a mental disorder, he would make the appropriate order committing her to the designated centre which is the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Portrane so she can be treated thereafter in accordance with the appropriate legislative means.

Ms Flood, with an address at The Oyle, Oylegate, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of her father, Patrick Flood, on April 14th, 2019, by reason of insanity.

Expert witnesses

On April 20th, Ms Flood was found not guilty by reason of insanity after a jury accepted the evidence given by two consultant forensic psychiatrists called as expert witnesses that the defendant was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing and fulfilled the criteria for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The two psychiatrists were in agreement that Ms Flood did not know that what she was doing was wrong when she stabbed her father.

The trial heard Ms Flood, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was in the throes of a psychotic state when she stabbed her elderly father to death on his 94th birthday because she believed the voice of God told her he was an imposter.

The jury was also told during the trial that Ms Flood had a history of persecutory delusions and on one occasion, believed she heard the voices of the band U2 accusing her of having raped one of the band members’ sisters.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court deliberated for just 48 minutes before returning their unanimous verdict last month.

Mr Flood died on April 14th, 2019, two days after he was stabbed.

Before he died, the pensioner told Dr Paul Cromwell that he had woken up at 7am on April 12th to find his daughter standing in the hall screaming at him that he was an imposter. He said his daughter had come up to him and stabbed him in the stomach.

A postmortem revealed Mr Flood was suffering from severe heart disease which could have resulted in his death at any time.

The post-mortem report, carried out by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster, stated the cause of death as congested cardiac failure complicated by ischemic colitis on the background of a recent stab wound.

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