Man, 46, battered uncle with hammer

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A 46-year-old Co Tyrone man who battered his uncle over the head with a hammer twice, before calling police to confess, believing he’d killed the pensioner, was yesterday “committed to the care of the Department of Health for admission to hospital” for an indefinite period.

Dungannon Crown Court judge Gemma Loughran, who made the hospital order “without limit of time”, heard that Paul Hartop was suffering from “a mental illness, namely paranoid schizophrenia”.

Hartop, who has a history of mental illness, had earlier pleaded guilty to attempting to murder his 75-year-old uncle Brendan on March 11, 2012 at his home on Main Street in Dromore, Co Tyrone.