Son made his killing confession to helpline

Kieran Gallagher

Kieran Gallagher

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A son confessed to killing his mother to a Christian phone line, a court heard.

Daniel Kieran Gallagher has been handed a hospital order and will be detained in a high security psychiatric hospital after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his mother, Bernadette.

Preston Crown Court heard Gallagher, 32, had cut his wrists and been taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary by his mother and aunt, Mary Jordan, on April 7.

Following his treatment he returned to his mother’s home in Riverside, Bamber Bridge, and was referred to the mental health crisis team, although he denied further thoughts of self harm and doctors were not concerned he posed a risk to anyone else.

However, at around 5pm on April 10 the paranoid schizophrenic phoned his aunt.

Dennis Watson QC, prosecuting, said: “She did not recall the precise words but recalls the defendant seemed to be asking for advice as to what he should do if he had done something sinful.

“She told him he might want to contact Prayerline.”

At around 10pm Mrs Jordan received a call from the Christian phone line telling her Gallagher told them he had killed his mother two days ago and said they would contact the police.

The Jordan family went to Bamber Bridge where they were met with the horrific scene.

Police officers arrived shortly before midnight to find Gallagher sitting on a bed talking to his aunt.

The mutilated body of Mrs Gallagher was found in the house with severe wounds to her abdomen and face.

Gallagher, who had an address in Manchester, told officers he had killed his mother by strangling her and he thought she was controlling and manipulative, the court heard.

However, a post-mortem examination revealed Mrs Gallagher died from multiple stab wounds and was probably unconscious at the time some of the injuries were inflicted.

Psychological assessments concluded Gallagher was suffering, and continues to suffer, paranoid schizophrenia with persecutory delusions.

Alan Wolstenholme, defending, said he had seen a ‘marked improvement’ in Gallagher’s condition since his transfer to Ashworth Hospital.

Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC said: “The facts are so dreadful that they can only really be explained by the fact that you were mentally ill at the time of the killing.

“You remain ill and will continue to remain in need of treatment for at least a very long time and probably for the rest of your life.”