A man with ‘text book’ paranoid schizophrenia has been found not guilty of killing his uncle in a ‘frenzied’ axe attack by reason of insanity at the Central Criminal Court.
The jury took just under three hours to find Henry McLaren (34) of Edenmore Drive, Raheny, not guilty of murdering his uncle, Thomas Dempsey.
Mr Dempsey died from massive head injuries after being hit more than 20 times with an axe.
The damage to his head was so severe that a large piece of his skull was missing, along with most of his left ear and half his brain.
Emergency services personnel giving evidence during the three-day trial described a ‘horrific’ scene with the deceased’s blood and brain splattered across walls.
The jury heard from three consultant psychiatrists who all agreed that Mr McLaren had been suffering from severe delusions, and his actions were a direct result of his illness.
At the time of the killing, Mr McLaren thought that Jimi Hendrix had told him his uncle was the devil. He thought that his uncle wanted to die and boxer Jack Dempsey had been speaking through his uncle’s mouth and had wanted to kill him.
The court heard that around 3pm on February 10, 2007, neighbours heard noises coming from Mr Dempsey’s house, where Mr McLaren was living, and the gardai were called.
Mr McLaren came to the door of the house covered in blood. Behind him, through the partly opened door, she [unclear who the ‘she’ is in the report] could see two feet, so she asked him if his uncle was all right.
He replied: “He’s in hell. He’s in fucking hell. He’s burning in hell.”
The emergency services were called but Mr McLaren would not let them into the house. He kept saying: “I want black people, I need black people.”
The jury heard that he thought God was black and the Devil was a white man. He thought white men were members of Sinn Fein, who he thought had massacred all the American Indians in the 19th century and smelled of faecal matter.
Mr McLaren refused to tell gardai his real name and insisted he should be called ‘Red’, a reference to the American Indians. In interviews he told gardai that Jimi Hendrix had told him to kill his uncle. “He said he was the Devil. I am a man and Jimi is a woman. We are a couple.”
He was insistent that his uncle was evil. “Tommy used to have his hands on Ireland. He was the Devil. He put briquettes on the fire. The game shouldn’t be played like that. It’s sick.”
He said he had used the axe, which he referred to as a tomahawk, because of what Sinn Fein did to the Indians. He told gardai he killed his uncle “the Indian way”.
Mr McLaren also believed that he was a world championship golfer and his father was hindering his career. He told psychiatrists that the Central Mental Hospital was going to build him a golf course.
Mr Justice Barry White ordered that Mr McLaren be committed to the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.