A man accused of murdering his mother in south Belfast is suffering from brain damage, a court has been told.
Jordan Kennedy's lawyer said he sustained the injuries in a car crash almost six years ago which claimed the life of his best friend.
Details emerged amid efforts to fast-track the case against the 21-year-old for allegedly stabbing Emma Jane McParland to death.
Ms McParland, 39, was found dead at her flat off the Ormeau Road on April 22.
Kennedy, of Haywood Avenue in the city, remains in custody charged with his mother's murder.
At a review hearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday, defence solicitor Adrian Harvey confirmed discussions with the Public Prosecution Service are underway about a process aimed at avoiding delay.
Mr Harvey indicated steps are being taken to obtain an agreed set of facts.
He also revealed: "There's a background where Mr Kennedy suffered a brain damage as a result of a fatal road traffic accident."
The solicitor was referring to a two-car crash near Belfast in 2014.
Kennedy's friend was killed in the collision, while a woman travelling in a second vehicle was seriously injured.
No further details about that incident can be disclosed for legal reasons.
District Judge George Conner agreed to adjourn the current proceedings for a further update in four weeks time.