Stepney man admits manslaughter of mother, 100

The Old Bailey. Photo: Bill Tyne @ flickr

A former taxi driver from Stepney has appeared in court to admit the manslaughter of his 100-year-old mother earlier this year.

Michael Fitzgibbon, 62, admits stabbing elderly Hannah Fitzgibbon in the neck at their East London home in February.

Appearing at the Old Bailey, he plead manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

After committing the crime, the court heard, Mr Fitzgibbon told his brother and police: “I’ve just gone mad.”

Though he was originally charged with murder, prosecutors accepted the plea due to psychiatric evaluations that indicated Fitzgibbon was suffering from moderately severe depression and the early effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Prosecuting, Crispin Aylett QC remarked that although Fitzgibbon had not been formally diagnosed at the time of the incident, symptoms of his mental state had been ‘apparent’ to family and friends.

“This occurred at a time when it seems that in fact the defendant’s own health was deteriorating at a rather more rapid rate than that of his mother,” he said.

“Neither psychiatrists nor anyone else could think of any rational explanation for why the defendant would have killed his mother other than the one the defendant himself offered in the immediate aftermath.”

Pre-sentence reports have been ordered to determine whether Fitzgibbon will be jailed or given a supervision order due to his state of health. Sentencing will take place on 13 September.

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