Jury in Donegal murder trial told accused suffers from paranoid schizophrenia

Julian Cuddihy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of his parents

Two forensic psychiatrists have told the trial of a Donegal man accused of murdering his parents that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Julian Cuddihy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of James and Kathleen Cuddihy at their home at Churchtown in Carndonagh.

During an independent assessment with Dr. Fiona Toal at the Central Mental Hospital last month, Julian Cuddihy described his father as his “best friend”.

He said he had a “strained relationship” with his mother but she knew he loved her too.

In the days leading up to October 22nd, 2014, the court heard he began to have bad hallucinations.

He was convinced the IRA was trying to recruit him and he could hear voices telling him to enter a parallel universe called the Matrix.

His mother called him for dinner that evening and he picked up an axe in the belief that she wanted him to kill them so they could go to heaven.

His brother found their bodies the following morning.

Dr. Toal and another forensic consultant psychiatrist have diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

The jury will ultimately be left to decide whether he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.