‘Volatile’ son refused leave for mum’s funeral

A man who allegedly murdered his elderly mother because he could no longer “carry the cross” of caring for her and then tried to kill himself cannot be safely released from custody for her funeral, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

Lord Justice Maguire rejected Barry Noone’s appeal against being refused compassionate bail after hearing he attempted to take his own life at the home in Cookstown, Co Tyrone he shared with 77-year-old Margaret Una Noone.

Citing concerns about the 45-year-old accused’s “volatile” mental state, he said: “It need only be emphasised that the applicant failed in his bid to commit suicide in the hours immediately after his mother’s death.

“It is for this principal reason that I feel obliged to refuse the application for compassionate bail.”

Barry Noone

Police discovered Mrs Noone’s body in her bed at the Ratheen Avenue property last Sunday morning, with Rosary beads apparently placed carefully in her hands.

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

Officers went to the address after Noone allegedly contacted the emergency services to say he had done something to his mother.

In another call made to Lincolnshire Police, a man living in England reported receiving a two-page suicide letter from his friend Barry living with his mother in Cookstown.

Prosecution counsel Sarah Minford told the court: “It stated that he had killed his mother and taken an overdose.”

When officers arrived at the property the blinds were closed, but on entering through the unlocked front door they found a notepad propped up on a hall table.

A message written on it said: “Please don’t come in. Call the police. I’m so sorry. Barry.”

Searches led to Noone being located under the sheets in a bed upstairs, apparently under the influence of drink or drugs.

His elderly mother was discovered in another room, lying on her back in bed and displaying no sign of life, the court heard.

She appeared to have bruising to the side of her face and neck.

According to Ms Minford, when asked at the scene what happed to his mother Noone paused and then replied: “I murdered her.”

He also stated that he had taken 25-30 Diazepam tablets at around 3am on Sunday and did not expect to wake up.

Further examination of the notepad revealed a letter allegedly signed by the defendant, setting out how he had been unable to take any more.

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 on June 12.

He had fallen back into a deep depression and lost the will to live, the court was told.

He stated that his mother had been on long-term psychiatric medication, but he could not keep going or leave her to endure her struggles alone.

“Her crosses had become his crosses and he couldn’t carry them anymore,” Ms Minford added.

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