A Kerry mother who was killed by her son after he said he "lost it" over a disagreement about the purchase of an iPhone died after suffering six hatchet wounds to the head as she lay in her bed, a murder trial jury has heard.
The 28-year-old autistic man admits killing his mother "without any lawful justification" but expert psychiatrists for both the prosecution and defence are in agreement that the accused was insane "as defined by law" at the time of his mother's death, the Central Criminal Court has been told.
Patrick Dunne from Ballingeragh, Lixnaw, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his mother Susan Dunne (62) between November 26 and 27, 2013.
Patrick Gageby SC, defending Mr Dunne, has made a number of admissions of fact on behalf of his client that included that the accused killed his Ms Dunne and had done so "without any lawful justification".
Antonia Boyle BL, for the prosecution, read transcripts of Mr Dunne's interviews to the jury.
She said Mr Dunne had told gardaí that on the night of November 26, 2013, he and his mother argued over the price of an iPhone she believed was too expensive but for which he was trying to save money.
In his interviews, Mr Dunne told gardaí that he was "out of control" on the night and had a "bad temper". He said he went to his room to listen to music.
He told gardaí that at around 10pm he got up for a drink of water and went to the kitchen where he noticed a hatchet was missing from a box that contained wood. He said he went to his mother's room to look for it.
Ms Boyle said Mr Dunne told gardaí that it was dark in his mother's room and that she was asleep when he found it in her room. He told gardaí that he made "a few practice swings" with the hatchet over his mother and "by accident" hit her - "it wasn't meant to happen," he told gardaí.
Mr Dunne told gardaí that he was "shocked" by what happened and that "he cried, wishing he could take it back".
Mr Dunne said that he then locked her bedroom door, took his social protection card from her bag and went to the post office to collect some money before driving on to Listowel. Gardaí, alerted to the incident, arrested him there after seeing him by his mother's car.