Trial of man who killed mother with cup told he fits criteria for special insanity verdict

Bijan Afshar has pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of insanity

A psychiatrist has told the trial of a Wicklow man accused of murdering his mother that she believes he fits the criteria for a special insanity verdict.

Bijan Afshar of Killarney Road, Bray, beat Lynn Cassidy to death with a coffee mug in June 2014 but has pleaded by reason of insanity.

At the time of her death, his mother was living at the Deepdales estate in Bray. She had separated from Bijan’s Iranian father in 2008.

Dr. Brenda Wright, a consultant forensic physiatrist, met the accused twice in the Central Mental Hospital last March.

The court heard that the most notable impact of the marriage break-up was on Bijan, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in his teenager years. 

Dr. Wright said people on the autism spectrum can become disproportionately distressed as a result of changes to their routine or environment.

She told the trial that Asperger’s syndrome is on the autism spectrum but can take time to present itself.

Bijan went under the radar in primary school but struggled to settle into secondary school. He became very withdrawn and unpredictable.

He had difficulties socialising and would spend endless hours on his computer. He was eventually diagnosed in 2008, the same year his parents separated.

On June 26th 2014, Bijan said he went over to his mother's house to ask if she could delay the sale of the home where he lived with his father and siblings. 

In the early hours of the next day, her two youngest sons found her lying in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor.

The jurors will ultimately have to decide whether he was unable to stop himself from killing her because of his condition.