Belfast Telegraph

Jury to determine if 'mentally unwell' son caused death of Bangor man Ronald Reid

By Michael Donnelly

A son allegedly killed his father after claiming he was a detective inspector restraining a dangerous criminal, a court has heard.

Ronald Reid was found dead at his apartment in Bangor on Christmas Eve in 2014.

Yesterday a jury at Belfast Crown Court heard that because the accused, Stuart Alexander Reid, is "mentally unwell", he won't be attending the trial arising out of the death of his 63-year-old father.

Mr Reid Snr was found dead on December 24, 2014, by police in his flat in the Savoy Apartments in Bangor, three days after his son, who lived in nearby Bingham Street, was arrested for disorderly behaviour in the Ulster Hospital.

The jury was told that given the "unusual" nature of the case and Mr Reid's "mental disability", they would not decide on whether he was guilty of murder or manslaughter, but whether he "committed the act", resulting in his father's death.

Prosecution QC Toby Hedworth said that in the weeks and days leading up to his father's death, "there were a number of incidents demonstrating that Stuart Reid was behaving in a bizarre and irrational way".

In one instance a "clearly intoxicated and agitated" Reid Jnr claimed he "could not trust his mother because she was a clone and he was working for MI6 and the Marines in west Belfast".

Mr Hedworth said on December 19, 2014, the day his father died, he made a series of emergency calls, involving either him dialling 999, or the emergency services trying to call back.

However, the prosecution lawyer said that what operators heard during the taped calls was "radically different" from that later uncovered when analysed by police, and then by a forensic speech expert at the University of York using specialist equipment.

They revealed that on occasions Mr Reid Snr was heard in the background breathing and coughing, or attempting to shout out his address or saying his "son is a psychopath... he's trying to kill me... he's leaning towards me".

Mr Hedworth said what the operators heard was Reid Jnr, claiming initially to be "Detective Inspector Reid" with a "violent dangerous criminal here and I am restraining him".

A post-mortem revealed Mr Reid Snr had multiple injuries to his rib cage. His voice box was also injured.

Mr Hedworth said it was the prosecution case that a "clearly unwell Stuart Reid", who apparently got on well with his father, had for some unknown reason "needed to detain his father and subjected him to considerable violence from which he died".

The hearing continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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