The trial of a man accused of murder has heard evidence from a psychiatrist that his symptoms do not necessarily amount to a depressive disorder.
Stephen Boyle (41) has admitted killing but denies murdering Paul Boyle (19) at Early’s Bar, Leabgarrow, Arranmore on October 3, 2009.
Mr Boyle of Austen House, Cambridge Road, Kilburn Park in London has pleaded not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Paul O’Connell told Mr Paul O’Higgins SC prosecuting that the accused described depressive symptoms, but they do not necessarily amount to a depressive disorder.
He said the psychological stress related to jealousy about his wife and that the evidence supported that rather than a mental disorder.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mary McGuire told Mr Paul O’Higgins under cross-examination that she did not ask the accused why he hit Paul Boyle with the glass twice. She agreed that she did ask him whether the glass was broken when he hit him.
She said the accused told her Paul Boyle appeared at his left shoulder, that he swung around, that he never intended to assault him and that he was acting on impulse.
“What bipolar caused was very impaired judgement and very unclear thinking,” Dr McGuire said.
“The disorder caused Mr Boyle to have very impaired judgement leading him to lash out in a situation in which he felt threatened”, she added.
In evidence given earlier in the trial, Dr McGuire said the accused suffered from bipolar II disorder at the time of the incident which diminished his responsibility.
She said the accused was referred to her on October 21, 2009 at Castlerea Prison where she has met with him around 25 times.
He expressed remorse frequently since he came to prison, Dr McGuire told the court.
She said the accused was remanded in custody to the prison on October 9, 2009. When she met with him there a couple of weeks later he was depressed, displayed suicidal ideation and was moved to a strip cell so he could not harm himself.
Dr McGuire said he made serious suicide attempts in May and August 2009 and displayed symptoms of a severe depressive disorder.
Also giving evidence last week, Paul Boyle’s older sister Tara Boyle, said he had worked for Stephen Boyle, who had his own construction company in London, in 2008 and told her that the businessman “owed him money”.
She said her brother had been to a funeral earlier in the day and gone to Letterkenny before returning to Arranmore and going out that night with some friends. She said she was next door in the bar and she heard someone shouting: “Tony, don’t” but she did not know who it was. She went into the lounge and “everyone was on top of” Stephen Boyle.
Paul was lying at the bar on the ground and there was a lot of blood in front of him. “I couldn’t move - I just started screaming”, she said.
The trial continues before a jury of six men and six women presided over by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.
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