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Murder trial Woman who killed man and cut off his genitals says she was inhabited by spirit of Princess Diana

A consultant psychiatrist told the court that Grace Miano (53) was, in his opinion, "possibly the most floridly schizoaffected person" he had ever met


Grace Miano. Photo: Damien Eagers

Grace Miano. Photo: Damien Eagers

Grace Miano. Photo: Damien Eagers

A Kenyan woman, who has pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of insanity, told psychiatrists that she was inhabited by the spirit of Princess Diana, who helped her fight a Kate Middleton plot to endanger Prince William and other members of the royal family, a trial has heard.

A consultant psychiatrist yesterday told the Central Criminal Court that accused Grace Miano (53) was, in his opinion, “possibly the most floridly schizoaffected person” he had ever met.

The trial has heard that Ms Miano told gardaí that she killed a man she lived with to “protect Prince William” and had cut off his genitals after death “to protect women”.

Grace Miano (53) is charged with the murder of Malawian man Limbani 'Robert' Mzoma (27) at Tudor Lawns in Foxrock, Co Dublin, on November 1, 2018.

Ms Miano, who is also known as ‘Margaret Sloane’, told the court on Monday that she was pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity”.

Prosecution counsel James Dwyer SC told the jury it is the defence's case that Ms Miano suffers a “schizoaffective” disorder, that she did not know her actions were wrong and that she was unable to refrain from her actions at the time.

Mr Dwyer told the jury that the facts of the case had been agreed upon by prosecution and defence.

Yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, Dr Paul O'Connell of the Central Mental Hospital told defence counsel Michael Bowman SC that Ms Miano told him that she could remember being raped throughout her life, and that she could remember a rape as far back as when she was 13 months old.

She told the psychiatrist that she had been raped and beaten regularly since she moved to Ireland in 1989, and alleged that the deceased was one of the men who raped and beat her.

Dr O'Connell said that Ms Miano believed that British royal Kate Middleton arranged a plot that resulted in the defendant's children being taken from her in 2013.

He said that Ms Miano believed that Ms Middleon had visited her in different guises – but that the defendant knew these people were Ms Middleton, by the way they shook hands.

He said Ms Miano believed that Ms Middleton abused her, and that the duchess had arranged to kill her and members of the British royal family by hiring a homeless person.

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Ms Miano told the doctor that it was her duty to protect the royal family, especially Prince William, and that Princess Diana would inhabit her body to do so.

The killing of Mr Mzoma, Ms Miano told Dr O'Connell, was carried out by the spirit of Princess Diana when inside the defendant’s body.

Ms Miano also told the doctor that Prince William’s life was in danger and that she was his secret girlfriend and fiancée and sometimes son.

Dr O’Connell told the court the accused believed Prince William would send her texts and that a noise on her phone alerted her to his protection of her.

The witness said Ms Miano admitted to killing Mr Mzoma, but that she believed her drink was spiked on the night in question.

Mr Mzoma suffered 65 external wounds to his body, including the removal of his genitalia post-mortem.

Dr O’Connell said that Ms Miano was, in his opinion, “possibly the most floridly schizoaffected person” he had ever met.

He said Ms Miano was “intensely” psychotic and suffered with mental dysfunction – and that, in his opinion, she was not in control of her actions at the time of the killing.

Dr O’Connell said that a not-guilty verdict by reason of insanity was an appropriate one.

Consultant psychologist for the prosecution, Dr Brenda Wright, agreed with Dr O’Connell that the appropriate verdict was one of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Dr Wright told Mr Dwyer that Ms Miano had hallucinations of soldiers in black ordering her to kill Mr Mzoma, and had told the doctor that “Princess Diana told her [Ms Miano] she did it”.

Dr Wright said while Ms Miano was in the Dóchas Centre for women, she read religious material and had said God told her to observe penance for the killing by not washing or eating for a week.

The psychiatrist said Ms Miano suffered from religious persecutory beliefs, and believed she was on a mission from God.

Ms Miano told her that her arrest was due to a conspiracy to prevent her from providing protection to Prince William and Prince Harry and from fulfilling her religious mission.

Dr Wright diagnosed Ms Miano with schizoaffective disorder, which had elements of mania, depression, delusions, lack of insight, a variety of hallucinations and paranoia.

Dr Wright said Ms Miano believed Mr Mzoma posed a threat, and did not know that what she was doing was wrong, and that she was unable to refrain herself on the night of the murder.

She told Mr Bowman she was satisfied that, at the time of the killing, Ms Miano was in a state of mind to qualify her for a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

In his closing speech to the jury, Mr Dwyer said there was no debate in relation to the evidence – but that the burden of proof was still on the prosecution, regarding intent to kill or cause serious harm.

He asked the jury to apply common sense and to clinically assess the evidence.

He said Ms Miano had admitted her plan to gardaí – to get Mr Mzoma really drunk and hit him with poker, before “dismembering him”.

“Mr Mzoma was attacked with multiple weapons and had alcohol in his system, which was consistent with her plan,” he told the jury, though he noted that both psychiatrists were in agreement on the special verdict.

In his closing speech, Mr Bowman said: “Ordinarily in unlawful killing we engage in an adversarial trial process. There was very little adversarial contact between parties because it is the capacity of her state of mind that is key.”

Mr Bowman said Ms Miano told Dr O’Connell that she is guilty, in that she admitted killing of Mzoma – but that both psychiatrists independently assessed the defendant, and both arrived at the conclusion that the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was appropriate.

“She was, on occasion she believed, effectively possessed by Princess Diana, who came to tell her what she had done.

"She was not in her right mind, and claims that the day after [the killing], Princess Diana told her she was the one who did it,” he said.

He said that the delusions were “as real as they could be to her”, he said, adding that the medical opinions were “all one way”.

Mr Bowman asked the jury to act upon the evidence of those professional psychiatrists – and in accordance, bring a not-guilty verdict by reason of insanity.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott will tomorrow charge the jury of seven men and five women before they retire to deliberate.

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