Doctor O’Neill has received a life sentence for allegedly beating his mother to death with a chisel.

 

According to reports, O, Neill snapped and beat his mother to death, pulverizing her skull and face with a chisel, because he ‘just couldn’t take any more’ of her ‘extremely controlling personality’.

 

Declan O’Neill, 29, armed himself with a chisel and murdered his mum Anne on October 21, 2017, after being subjected to years of ‘relentless emotional violence by his mother’, Belfast Crown Court heard.

 

Both the deceased’s daughter and mother told Mr Justice Colton to be merciful and talked of Anne’s controlling personality.

 

They also said the siblings were raised by an abusive and bullying mother in a home with no beds, bare walls and little furniture.

 

O’Neill has already been sentenced to life imprisonment. The question for the judge to determine now is what the minimum term should be before he is eligible for parole.

 

Defence barrister Greg Berry said that throughout the killer’s childhood, and into adult life, he suffered manipulation, intimidation, bullying and threats by his mother.

 

The court heard that Anne was murdered between 6am and 7am with neighbors woken to the sounds of banging and screams for help.

 

Shortly later the first officer arrived and found Anne, 51, face down at the bottom of the garden in a pool of blood, hair and teeth. Her death, which a postmortem examination concluded was caused by a bleed to the brain with multiple skull fractures, was ‘rapid but not immediate’ pathologist Jack Crane concluded.

 

He added: ‘She had been struck repeatedly on the head with a heavy blunt object and the back of her head had been pummeled against the edge of the tiles steps, and her face had been thrust against a hard, uneven surface such as the concrete path or patio,’ Belfast Live reported.

 

O’Neill was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to Musgrave Street police station where he was interviewed 19 times.

 

He denied killing his mother until the 14th interview, when he broke down and said: ‘I didn’t mean to, I just couldn’t take any more.

 

‘You don’t know what it’s like. Every day thousands of pounds debt in my name. She keeps taking more money off me. Wants all my time. ‘We are not allowed any time together.’ Anne’s blood was found in O’Neill’s Ford Fiesta.

 

Also found in his flat were items stained with his mother’s blood, including a rubber face mask, a metal chisel, shoes and gloves. Describing the killing as ‘brutal’, Prosecutor Neil Connor said Anne’s physical impairment made her vulnerable.

 

He also spoke of the level of pre-planning required on her son’s part, highlighting the weaponry, mask and gloves. Though he did accept Anne’s ‘extremely controlling personality’. As youngsters Declan was not allowed to have friends and as an adult Anne would repeatedly phone him hospital.

 

O’Neill’s lawyer told Mr Justice Colton that four medical assessments found the killer suffered from a depressive disorder. He also said his client was ‘struggling to come to terms with the consequences of his actions’ and missed his mother.

 

Mr Berry also said as youngsters the siblings were not allowed to have any friends and that as an adult, when O’Neill went to work as a doctor, Anne would repeatedly phone the hospital. Mr Justice Colton said he would set the minimum term O’Neill has to serve on November 4. He then remanded O’Neill back into custody.

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