Doctors disagree over mental health of Branston double murder accused

A psychiatrist on behalf of the prosecution believes the man accused of murdering his mother and her partner in Branston was not suffering from any mental health conditions during the killings, but the defence’s health expert disagreed.

Jurors in the trial of the student accused of murdering his mum and her partner heard further evidence from psychiatrists on Monday.

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu has admitted he killed the couple at the home he shared with his mother in the village of Branston.

But his defence team say he was suffering from a mental health condition at the time and the jury should convict him of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, rather than murder.

Psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph of St Mary’s Hospital, London, who was called to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that, in his opinion, Simion-Munteanu was not suffering from any abnormality of mind when he carried out the killings in July 2019.

Dr Joseph, who carried out an assessment of Simion-Munteanu in December, described the defendant as a deep thinker and said he was an intelligent person.

“He acknowledged the killings were planned. It was his own thinking to kill them and no thoughts were put into his head.

“I am concluding there was no recognised medical condition at the time of the killings. I do not believe that any condition he did have provides an explanation for his conduct.

“He reached a decision in his life where he wanted to test out this hypothesis about how he would feel if he killed.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Simion-Munteanu previously told the jury that he believed he was evil and to test that he decided to carry out the most evil act he could think of, which was to kill his own mother. He said that he also killed her partner because this would be even more evil.

Earlier today Dr Paul Eggleston, a psychiatrist called on behalf of the defence, told the jury that it was more likely than not that Simion-Munteanu was suffering from a recognised medical condition at the time he killed.

“My view is that it was either the early stages of a psychotic mental illness, I think that is the most likely, or it was a depressive mental illness.”

Andrei-Mihai Simion-Munteanu, 22, of Lincoln Road, Branston, denies the murders of Leela Monti, 51, and her partner Robert Tully, 71, between July 27 and August 6, 2019.

The trial continues.

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