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Man charged with murdering his gran Elizabeth Dobbin was 'seeing zombies', Belfast court told


Gingles as remanded into custody.

Gingles as remanded into custody.

Gingles as remanded into custody.

A man charged with murdering his 82-year-old grandmother said he was seeing zombies, a court has been told.

Alan Gingles, 32, also expressed concerns about coronavirus when police questioned him following the sudden death of Elizabeth Dobbin in Larne, Co Antrim.

The pensioner's body was discovered at the home they shared on Dromaine Drive in the town on Monday evening.

Detectives from the PSNI's Major Investigation Team charged Gingles with her murder after a post-mortem examination was carried out.

The accused appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court by video-link from a custody suite due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He spoke only to confirm that he understood the single charge against him.

No bail application was made during the hearing, and no further details were revealed about the cause of death.

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But Gingles' solicitor, John Doran, said: "This was his grandmother, it's a very tragic situation."

An investigating detective was asked to confirm the accused accepted causing Mrs Dobbin's death "very early on" in the course of seven interviews.

The detective replied: "There's no argument with that."

Mr Doran also disclosed: "Mr Gingles spoke of hearing voices, and concerns about the coronavirus.

"He also spoke of seeing zombies."

A defence based on diminished responsibility due to some type of psychotic episode is expected to be mounted, the lawyer indicated.

"That clearly will be a matter for expert medical opinion further down the line," he added.

Remanding Gingles in custody, District Judge George Conner said he will appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

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