A man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia ten years after a jury found him guilty of murdering his infant son has had his conviction quashed by an Irish court.
Yusuf Ali Abdi, was found guilty in 2003 for the murder of his son, Nathan Baraka Andrew Ali, in a Kildare apartment on April 17, 2001.
Abdi’s defense at trial claimed he was insane and a number of medical experts were called by his defense team to support that view.
The prosecution also called a number of medical witnesses to say he was not psychotic including Dr. Damien Mohan of the Central Mental Hospital who testified that Abdi was not suffering from psychosis.
At trial, Abdi gave evidence of having encountered difficulties during the war in Somalia in 1990 and gave evidence that he saw faces and heard sounds and voices, in particular, of the people who had persecuted him.
He claimed he was a zombie and that voices told him to hit his child, so he struck him against a wall several times, by swinging the youngster by the legs, RTÉ News reported.
Abdi was found guilty of murdering his son by a ten-two majority jury verdict and given the mandatory life sentence by Justice Paul Carney.
However, the Irish Court of Appeal quashed Abdi’s conviction yesterday on the basis that a 2013 diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, by another psychiatrist based at the Central Mental Hospital, was new evidence.
Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Justice John Edwards said the case was “wholly exceptional” given the change in his diagnosis by doctors treating him at the only dedicated forensic psychiatric facility in the State, the Central Mental Hospital.
Abdi was remanded in custody to appear before the Central Criminal Court on Monday next for the purpose of a retrial.