Margaret Noone murder: Judges overturns bail decision for son, Barry, who is accused of killing his mother

A man who allegedly strangled his elderly mother to death while she was in his care must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 1st August 2022, 10:38 pm
Margaret Una Noone, 77, was found dead in her home in Ratheen Avenue in Tyrone.
 Her 45-year-old son, Barry Noone, has been charged with her murder.
Margaret Una Noone, 77, was found dead in her home in Ratheen Avenue in Tyrone. Her 45-year-old son, Barry Noone, has been charged with her murder.

Mr Justice McAlinden overturned a previous grant of bail to Barry Noone on a charge of murdering 77-year-old Margaret Una Noone at their home in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

He backed an appeal by the Public Prosecution Service after being told examination of the defendant’s phone revealed internet searches for ‘matricide’.

“I have no hesitation in reversing the decision of the district judge and remanding this person in custody because of the clear risk of harm to others,” Mr Justice McAlinden said.

Noone, 45, is accused of carrying out the killing and then attempting suicide in June.

Police discovered his mother’s body in her bed at the Ratheen Avenue property on June 19, with rosary beads placed carefully in her hands.

Noone was located in another bedroom, apparently having taken up to 30 pills hours earlier.

Noone, who lived in London for 20 years, described the traumatic experience of looking after his mother since returning in April, and then having to isolate in his bedroom since contracting Covid the previous week.

He fell into a deep depression and lost the will to live, but could not leave his mother to endure her struggles alone, the court heard.

In a prepared statement provided later to police, Noone said: “I accept my actions caused the death of my mother.”

Prosecutors mounted an appeal after he was granted magistrates’ bail on Friday to live at a friend’s address in London.

Those arrangements involve staying with a man who is recovering from both major bowel surgery and long Covid, the court heard.

Claiming that Noone continues to pose a risk, Crown lawyer Fiona O’Kane said: “His phones show that he Googled ‘matricide’ and he Googled ‘how long it would take you to die if you slit your wrists’.

“This is a man who, in a very short time period, who came to this jurisdiction to assist his mother, within two and a half months has murdered his mother,” counsel submitted.

Mr Justice McAlinden emphasised that a consultant psychiatrist report does not support Noone’s case that he was suffering from mental illness at the time of the alleged murder.