Maha Al Adheem stabbed her 3-year-old son to death in their Dublin home in 2017
A Kuwaiti doctor who stabbed her son to death in Dublin has been ruled not guilty by reason of insanity this week.
The Independent reports that 43-year-old Maha Al Adheem pled not guilty to killing her 3-year-old autistic son Omar Omran in July 2017.
After killing her son, it was Al Adheem who called the police to the scene. When they arrived, she told them: “I did it, I stabbed my son and then stabbed myself.”
Omar Omran was stabbed 20 times by his mother in their South Dublin home. He suffered stabs mainly to the trunk of his body, including four stab wounds that had penetrated his lungs and heart, severing a vital artery.
Al Adheem became qualified as a doctor in Iraq in 2003, but the usual six-year program took her nine years to complete as she was diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia in 1996. After separating from her husband, Omar’s father, in 2014, Al Adheem continued to suffer from mental health issues and spent five nights in a Dublin hospital in March 2017 after saying she was suicidal.
During the four-day court hearing, two consulting psychiatrists Dr. Paul O'Connell and Dr. Lisa McLoughlin argued that Al Adheem suffered from paranoid schizophrenia during the time of the murder and that she was unable to appreciate that her actions were morally wrong. They believe she met the requirements for the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, the court heard.
Over the course of the four-day trial, detective Riana O’Sullivan, who responded to the scene, said Al Adheem told her: “the spirit goes to bed with me, at 12 o’clock I take the knife and start hitting him and myself, I want to die.”
Sergeant Brendan O’Halloran said he arrested Al Adheem at 10:05 pm in the psychiatric unit of St James’s Hospital on July 12, 2017, and brought her to Crumlin Garda Station where she faced four interviews.
When the murder charge was put to Al Adheem, she replied: “Yes it was my knife, my hand, it was not me, the power.”
Siobhan Murray, a neighbor to Al Adheem who was called upon as a witness, testified that Al Adheem “was amazing, she did everything for him morning and night. I never heard her raise her voice once or correct him.”
Similarly, another friend of Al Adheem, Aingle Ni Cheallaigh agreed with the defense that the defendant was a kind, good, and decent mother.
It took less than two hours for the jury of nine men and three women to deliver a unanimous verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity for Al Adheem.