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Psychotherapist Tells Inquest Alan Hawe Was Stressed Before He Killed Family


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A medical expert says he believes a man who killed his family had a severe mental illness at the time.

Alan Hawe killed his wife and three sons at their home last year - before taking his own life.

Psychotherapist David McConnell told the hearing he first met Alan Hawe in March 2016 and had ten counselling sessions with him.

He said Alan Hawe was open during his sessions and placed a high value on family life and on being a good husband and father.

He said Alan Hawe was stressed in his last session on June 21st and was in fear of shame of being less than perfect.

He said Alan Hawe said ‘People think of me as a pillar of the community. If only they knew.’

The psychotherapist said Alan Hawe should no signs of harming himself or others.

On that last session, Alan Hawe also went to his GP who said she knew nothing of his counselling .

She said he was stressed, had mouth ulcers and had a toenail problem which he had used bleach on.

He said he had insomnia and was concerned about a conflict that had risen with a work colleague.

An external medical expert Profesor Harry Kennedy reviewed Alan Hawe’s medical history and a suicide note found which was at the scene of the killings.

He said in his opinion at the time of the killings Alan Hawe had progressed from a long standing depressive illness to a more severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms.

He said Alan Hawe seemed to have delusional beliefs that were not rooted in reality.

Professor Kennedy said in the course of a severe mental illness people’s judgement can be severely impaired and he believes this is what happened in this case.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing for Clodagh and her three sons Liam, Niall and Ryan and a verdict of suicide for Alan Hawe.


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