Doctor tells court woman who stabbed her mother she may have ‘diminished liability’ defense

A DOCTOR who performed a psychiatric report on a woman who stabbed her mother to death told a jury there were potential grounds for an attenuated liability defense.

But Dr Dinesh Maganty told the court that the defense of diminished liability due to Jessica Crane’s mental state would fail if the jury did not believe the account given to them in key areas.

Crane denies murdering his 69-year-old mother, Janet Mason, but agrees to stab her with a 25cm blade in the back at the victim’s mother’s house at 74 Green Lane, Worcester on March 9 last year.

Appearing via video link at the Worcester Crown Court murder trial on Tuesday, the consultant forensic psychiatrist first answered questions from Rachel Brand QC, in defence.

Dr Maganty told the court he made a report in May last year on the defendant when he found her fit to stand trial.

Dr Maganty said Crane told him she had used cannabis daily since she was 14, but quit in January last year because it made her depressed and paranoid.

He said Crane, of Hillside Close, Worcester, also told him that in June 2020 she suffered from chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss, forcing her to take time off from her job at Morrisons in Malvern .

He said the combination of these and other things meant he had come to the conclusion in the report that she was suffering from a “severe depressive episode”.

The court heard that for the defense to be successful, they would rely on severe depression, but also on the fact that there was complex trauma in the events that the 50-year-old claims took place in his childhood.

“If her account is accepted, severe depression and complex trauma would offend a mitigated liability defense,” Dr. Maganty said.

Responding to questions from Richard Atkins QC, the doctor was asked if the defense would also fail if the jury found there was evidence of pre-planning for the stabbing, to which Dr Maganty replied ‘yes’ .

Dr. Maganty later confirmed – when he wrote his report – that he had not seen the note “Dark thoughts. Hurting my mother” that Crane had written, or that psychologist Laura Dawson had recorded Crane saying that she wanted to stab her mother.

READ MORE: Worcester murder trial – woman stabbed her mother in the back

Mr. Atkins asked if the doctor would have considered them.

“I would have asked about it and included it in my report,” Dr. Maganty replied.

Dr Maganty was also asked about complex trauma to which he replied that he had seen “inconsistencies” with Crane’s alleged version of traumatic events from his childhood which he described as “significant”.

“It concerns me,” added Dr Maganty.

Judge James Burbidge QC dismissed the jury early as points of law were considered, telling them to return on Wednesday morning when closing speeches and summaries of evidence are due to take place.

“You will be able to deliberate on your verdict in the afternoon,” added the judge.

About Jessica J. Bass

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