Louth murder trial (Dec 14): Psychiatrists clash over Murphy’s mental state

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

A psychiatrist today (Friday) told a murder trial jury that the accused man was suffering from a personality disorder at the time he carried out the killing.

Dr Pablo Vandenabeele, giving evidence for the defence at Lincoln Crown Court on the fifth day of the trial, said that his opinion was that Shane Murphy’s responsibility for killing his partner Marie Gibson was diminished because of his mental condition.

He told the jury: “I concluded that he was suffering from an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

“It was my view is that he was suffering from an abnormality of mental function at the time of the offence. It is my view that abnormality was caused by a recognised mental condition namely an emotionally unstable personality disorder.”

A second psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph, giving evidence on behalf of the prosecution, told the jury that he disagreed with the opinion of Dr Vandenabeele.

Dr Joseph said: “My opinion is that he wasn’t suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning.

“He did a series of acts after the killing which were more to do with self preservation. I am saying it was not diminished responsibility. There was no substantial impairment.

“On the basis of my interview with the defendant and the material I have read I would not make a diagnosis of a personality disorder particularly an emotionally unstable personality disorder.”

Murphy is alleged to have beaten Marie Gibson with a baseball bat, kicked her and stabbed her with a shard of glass from a broken mirror.

The attack carried out in Marie’s home in Lacey Gardens, Louth, left her with severe brain and facial injuries from which she died.

Murphy today chose not to give evidence from the witness box but the jury earlier heard that when interviewed by police following his arrest he claimed that Marie attacked him with the baseball bat which he wrestled from her and then used it to hit her twice.

He also admitted kicking her but denied stabbing her with the shard of glass.

In his police interviews he said: “I didn’t mean it to happen like this. I just wanted to be with her. I would have done anything for her.

“Its all a big blur. She was in my face. I never intended to use force. She made me lose it.”

Murphy, 28, of Little Lane, Louth, denies the murder of Marie Gibson on June 9 this year.

He admits he killed her but says his responsibility was diminished by a mental health condition he was suffering at the time.

The trial continues on Monday.