Son killed mother and mutilated body

kieran gallagher
kieran gallagher
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A son stabbed his mother to death and mutilated her body, in one of the worst incidents ever seen by detectives in South Ribble.

Daniel Kieran Gallagher, 32, admitted killing his mum Bernadette, 51, at her Bamber Bridge home.

Gallagher stabbed her repeatedly after the pair had fallen out in April this year.

The killer, who has a history of involvement with mental health services, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday.

Det Supt Neil Esseen, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Unit, said Mrs Gallagher suffered “the worst injuries I have seen during my time...especially when you factor in that this was his mother.”

After killing her, Gallagher then mutilated his mother’s body, removing her eyes and one of her lungs.

Det Supt Esseen said: “The police were aware, following a phone call from a member of Mrs Gallagher’s family, who (Kieran Gallagher) had phoned himself, to say that he had done something in the house.

“It was a fairly bloody scene, and it was clear that Mrs Gallagher was deceased. There were a number of stab wounds.”

The Guardian understands Gallagher, who had been living in Whitworth Street, Manchester, had been brought to the house on Riverside by his mother just two days before her body was discovered on April 10.

She had been concerned about him after suspected depression caused him to make a suicide attempt by taking an overdose.

But it is thought the pair fell out, and Gallagher carried out the gruesome killing.

Police were alerted when he rang a relative of the family, telling them what he had done.

Distraught relatives travelled to the house and found her body.

Police said, despite what Gallagher has now admitted to, the pair had been close.

He’d previously lived in Bamber Bridge and has always struggled to hold down a steady job, had moved to Manchester to pursue a dream of a music career.

But he has been involved with mental health services for a number of years, although police said there was ‘no suggestion’ he was capable of killing.

When he was arrested at the scene, officers say he was medically assessed and initially was found fit to be interviewed and charged.

But despite his guilty plea, detectives say he has never fully explained why he killed his mum.

Dennis Watson QC, prosecuting, told the court hearing it was a “very serious and tragic case”.

He added: “It is the view of two psychiatrists, who have seen and reported upon Gallagher, that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.”

Appearing on a video link from Ashworth Secure Mental Hospital in Merseyside, the same hospital which houses Moors murderer Ian Brady, Gallagher spoke only to confirm his name and enter the guilty plea. He will be sentenced on October 4.