Son charged with murdering his mother at their Cookstown home

The son of a 77-year-old woman has been charged with murdering her in their Cookstown home.

The victim, Margaret Una Noone, died from neck compression and was found lying on her bed clasping Rosary beads

The son had claimed he could not go on caring for her any longer, but did not wish her to struggle alone.

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Police attended the home of Margaret Una Noone on Sunday 19 June and found her deceased, after which a murder investigation was launched.

Barry Noone (45) from Ratheen Avenue, Cookstown was arrested a short time later at the scene of the alleged crime, having been found in another room after taking an overdose from which he “didn’t expect to wake.”

He appeared by video-link from police custody and spoke only to confirm his identity and that he understood the charge.

A detective constable told the court she believed she could connect the accused to the charge.

She explained East Midlands police contacted the PSNI after a friend of Noone claimed he may have harmed his mother and taken an overdose.

A second report then came in this time stating Noone had killed his mother.

On arrival, police found the blinds closed and but on entering through the unlocked front door a notepad was propped up on a table which read, “Please don’t go in. Call the police. I’m so sorry”

Noone was found in bed in an upstairs room and appeared incoherent.

In the next room his elderly mother was found lying on her back, with her hands resting in her chest, clasping Rosary beads.

She was cold to the touch and had been dead for a number of hours.

Noone told officers: “I murdered her.”

He also said he had taken around 30 of her tablets and had not expected to wake up

A letter found at the scene written by Noone stated he had been caring for his mother from April which had been ‘traumatic’ and he was ‘unable to take any more’.

However he felt he couldn’t leave her struggle alone and: “Her troubles had become his troubles and he could no longer carry this cross alone.”

While in custody, Noone gave a largely no comment interview although did say: “I accept my actions leading to my mother’s death.”

The letter set out how he caught Covid in June and was confined in his room, which caused his mother to react badly, leading to more stress.

He stated: “I don’t have a future. I’ve been broken since I was young. I can’t go on.”

The detective explained the victim’s death was caused by neck compression, opposed bail chiefly on the grounds of Noone’s current mental health amid concerns for his own safety.

District Judge Bernie Kelly decided to order him to be held in custody while an in-depth psychiatric assessment is conducted, given the very serious concerns for Noone’s well-being.

The case will be mentioned again at Dungannon Magistrates Court next month although a further application for release to an appropriate facility may be made ahead of that.



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Cookstown murder victim named as pensioner Margaret Una Noone (77)