Jury deliberates in Clerkenwell murder trial

A jury were deliberating their verdict yesterday afternoon in the murder trial of a man accused of murdering his infirm mother.

Thomas Quinn stands accused of strangling the 81-year-old with her dressing gown cord at the flat they shared in Emberton Court, Tompion Street, Clerkenwell.

Police discovered thedecomposing body of Mary Quinn, also known as Philimena, in a taped-off room in the property on June 25 last year after her parish priest became concerned because she had not been seen for more than a month.

The Old Bailey heard that Mr Quinn, 51, told the officers that he had “ended her suffering.” He admits manslaughter but denies murder on the grounds that he was suffering from depression and was “unable to make rational judgments.”

Mr Quinn’s defence claims he was struggling to cope with being his mother’s carer in the final weeks of her life.


The court was told that during a visit to his GP on March 22 last year he said he was depressed and “had little time for himself”.

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It was also heard that Mr Quinn, an alcoholic, claimed he had become suicidal and had experienced a “compulsive desire” to throw himself off his flat’s balcony.

But the prosecution rejected the claims that he was suffering from severe depression at the time of the killing.

Giving evidence, consultant psychiatrist Dr Christopher McEvedy said: “Within a few days of his arrest, which itself was two weeks after the death of his mother, he appeared to be behaving normally.”

“The typical progress of a depressive illness is for it to wax and wane over periods of several weeks or months.

“And I therefore believe it is unlikely, or very unlikely, that he could have been so depressed that the balance of his mind was substantially altered.”

The trial continues.