A psychiatrist has testified to an Irish court that Ian Harman cannot be held criminally responsible because he was suffering withdrawal from an antipsychotic medication when he murdered a fellow psychiatric inmate. According to the Irish Independent, shortly after Harman was admitted to hospital, the olanzapine that he’d been taking was suddenly stopped. “Nursing notes stated that… he had racing thoughts and was given hot milk and encouraged to go to bed. He broke a flowerpot and tried to kill himself. He was pacing up and down and was restless…” reports the Independent. Harman asked for but was denied the medication. Over the next few days leading up to committing the murder, Harmen’s drug withdrawal symptoms and akathisia rapidly worsened, psychiatrist Dr. Bob Johnson told the court.
“It is hard to convey to a non-medical audience how distressing akathisia can be,” Johnson told the court. According to the Independent, psychiatrists for the prosecution will testify that Harman has a personality disorder that contributed to him committing the murder, and that akathisia is not a mental disorder.
Murder accused was unable to refrain from killing the deceased because of medication withdrawal, psychiatrist tells court (Irish Independent, July 18, 2014)