Court latest: Son charged with mum’s murder to be released from mental health act

Alun Kinney Evans. 'Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Alun Kinney Evans. 'Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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A Portstewart man accused of his mother’s murder will no longer be detained under the mental health act, a judge has heard.

Andrew Kinney, solicitor for the accused, told North Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Coleraine, on Thursday that he had received a letter from the doctor who is currently treating 32-year-old Alun Evans to the effect that his detention under the Mental Health act “will not be renewed” when it expires next week.

Evans, from Knockancor Drive in the seaside town, is charged with murdering his 69-year-old mother Margaret Evans on 4 June this year and although he is on bail, he is being detained at the Shannon Clinic, a secure mental health unit in the Knockbracken Health Care Park in south Belfast.

Evans is also charged with having class B cannabis with intent to supply three days before the killing, on 1 June.

Retired hairdresser Margaret Evans, known as Margo, was found dead in her home at Knockancor Drive in Portstewart - but the circumstances of her death are still unclear.

When her son first appeared in court last month, Detective Sergeant McLaughlin said Evans was initially arrested on the day of the killing but was deemed “unfit for interview” and the following day, he was transferred first to Holywell Hospital and then to the secure Shannon Clinic “where he has since been in their care and receives an ongoing programme of treatment.”

DS McLaughlin confirmed to a prosecution lawyer that a mental health order had been granted and would be in place until 5 December this year.

District Judge Liam McNally asked, and the officer agreed, that when the mental health order comes to an end it “would be extended if deemed appropriate by medical authorities or the prosecution could apply to revoke the bail or agree further terms.”

On Thursday, Mr Kinney revealed that order will not be renewed and it would likely be “inevitable” that Evans’ bail would be revoked.

Listing the case next Thursday, Judge McNally ordered that Evans be produced to the court.