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Man 'kissed mother after stabbing'

A former black cab driver kissed his 100-year-old mother on the cheek and said "sorry" after stabbing her to death, a court has heard.

Michael Fitzgibbon, 62, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Fitzgibbon was suffering from depression as well as the onset of Parkinson's disease and struggling to cope as the main carer of his mother, Hannah.

He stabbed the grandmother just below the neck at the home they shared in Hainton Close, Stepney, east London, in February.

The Old Bailey heard that in his account later to a doctor he said: "I took a knife from the kitchen and went to her bedroom, pushed her down and stabbed her.

"She shouted 'Michael' in a frightened way. Her eyes were open. I held her to comfort her. It was like a dream, not real. The time went very slowly. My mind was all over the place. I have never hurt anybody in my life. I kissed her on the cheek and said 'Sorry, Mum'.

"I thought she was dead. She looked younger. I had blood on my hands. I phoned my brother and the police. They turned up very quickly. When I stabbed her it was like I wasn't doing it."

The court heard that when Fitzgibbon rang 999 he said: "Everything's got on top of me. I've just gone mad." After being sentenced, the frail defendant asked to stand up and address his family who were in court.

Judge Richard Hone said: "She was a vibrant and active centenarian who had much to live for and was treasured by the wider family."

Her son Peter Fitzgibbon described how what his brother did was "complicated and confusing" for the family.


From Belfast Telegraph