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PPS to appeal bail granted to ‘suicidal’ son accused of 77-year-old mother’s murder

Police disclosed they are now of the view the murder was 'not spontaneous and was premeditated'

The Public Prosecution Service is to appeal a decision to release the son of a 77-year-old woman charged with her murder on bail.

Meanwhile, police disclosed they are now of the view the murder was, “not spontaneous and was premeditated.”

Barry Noone (45) from Ratheen Avenue, Cookstown was arrested after friends alerted police to concerns for both he and his mother on June 19.

Noone was located first, having overdosed, and on coming around he stated, “I did not expect to wake up.”

In another room, officers discovered his mother deceased, lying on her bed with her Rosary beads carefully placed in her hands.

Noone told officers, “I murdered her.”

A post mortem revealed death was by neck compression.

A letter found at the scene, penned by Noone, explained he had returned from England to care for his mother in April, but couldn’t go on and didn’t want her struggling as, “Her crosses had become his crosses and he could no longer carry them alone.”

Previously, it was disclosed East Midlands police contacted the PSNI after Noone’s friend reported he had harmed his mother and taken an overdose.

Having arrived at the house, officers observed a notepad bearing the message, “Please don’t go in. Call the police. I’m so sorry. Barry.”

During interview he gave generally ‘no comment’ replies, but did say, “I accept my actions leading to my mother’s death. My mother and I were extremely close. I will never get over this … My mother relied on me. I came back to care for her after her operation. We tried to get carers in but without success … I don’t have a future. I’ve been broken since I was young. I’m in living hell.”

The friend who alerted police remarked, “The nicest person has done the most awful thing.”

Defence barrister Fintan McAleer told Dungannon Magistrates’ Court a psychiatric assessment recommended Noone “should be living in a setting with emotional solace, guidance, advice and support”.

Opposing bail, however, a detective constable said Noone “presents a risk given his fragile state and the severity of offending. The occupant of a suggested bail address in Croyden, has compassion, but would be uncomfortable with him residing there”.

Another friend offered his address in Tooting and, while he “feels loyalty”, expressed some concerns, although with support, believed these could be managed.

The detective said, “The psychiatrist supports bail but advises conditions which police would find difficult to monitor … The defendant has attempted suicide, he suffers from mental health issues. We can’t say how he will act at any given time.”

She further disclosed a preliminary analysis of Noone’s phone found internet searches for “matricide” and “how to commit suicide”.

“Police now believe this was not spontaneous and was premeditated,” said the detective.

A defence barrister stressed Noone’s family are fully supportive and willing to put forward cash sureties, adding, “The psychiatric assessment found no issue which would put him or anyone else at risk. His suicidal thoughts have settled and he is no longer on medication.”

After consideration District Judge Michael Ranaghan granted bail remarking, “I don’t find any of the police objections to be made out. I don’t believe the defendant is a risk to others. That point makes no sense whatsoever.”

He set bail at £1,000, with two sureties of £1,000 each and ordered Noone must engage with all required psychiatric services.

A prosecuting lawyer advised this will be appealed at High Court.

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