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Killer son demands move to jail from hospital

A SON who beheaded his mother and buried her dismembered body in a shallow grave wants to be moved from a psychiatric hospital to a prison cell.

James Dunleavy, 40, was found guilty earlier this year of killing his mother after she came to visit him in Edinburgh last April.

His trial heard evidence that Philomena Dunleavy, 66, from Dublin, may have been alive when he began to hack off her legs with a knife and saw in his Balgreen Road flat.

Mrs Dunleavy's remains were found weeks later, buried on Corstorphine Hill. The mother-of-five was only identified after experts recreated a likeness of her from CT scans of her skull.

Labourer Dunleavy, who worked on Edinburgh's trams project, denied murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by burying her to try to cover up the crime.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh convicted him, by majority, of a reduced charge of culpable homicide. They also found him guilty of the attempted cover-up between April and July last year.

By that time, Dunleavy had already been sent to the State Hospital, Carstairs. After the jury verdicts, judge Lord Jones ordered he should stay there while psychiatrists assessed his condition.

Dunleavy returned to court yesterday for the judge to decide the next move, which could have been an indefinite stay in the State Hospital.

Defence QC Gordon Jackson said: "He doesn't want to go to Carstairs. He wants a prison sentence."

The lawyer said medical reports had been prepared for the court but he felt it was his duty to have an independent person look at their recommendations.

Dunleavy will remain in the State Hospital pending a further court hearing.

Three psychiatrists told Dunleavy's trial he clearly had a problem, but it was too early to say what it was. Paranoid schizophrenia was suggested as a possibility.

Dunleavy, giving evidence, insisted the doctors were wrong. "I think the gravity of the crime I am accused of may have coloured their perception," he suggested.

He also complained he could not find a good chess opponent in Carstairs.

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