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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 15:21 GMT
'Sleepwalker' cleared of murder
Jules Lowe
Jules Lowe will be kept in custody until a hospital place can be found
A man who admitted battering his elderly father to death has been found not guilty of murder due to insanity, by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

Jules Lowe, 32, of Gtr Manchester, had claimed that when he attacked his father he was sleepwalking and had no recollection of the incident.

The judge directed on Friday that Mr Lowe be sent to a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite period of time.

Mr Lowe killed Eddie Lowe, 82, outside his father's house in Walkden, in 2003.

'Savagely beaten'

The judge remanded Mr Lowe in custody until a hospital place could be found.

Edward Lowe was savagely beaten in a prolonged attack and had 90 separate injuries to his body. The pensioner had been punched, kicked and stamped on.

Richard Marks QC, prosecuting, had said Lowe's defence of sleepwalking was "far fetched in the extreme".

But after hearing expert evidence, the jury at Manchester Crown Court decided that the attack took place while Mr Lowe was sleepwalking in an "automaton" state and was completely unaware of his own actions.

Lowe first mentioned his history of sleepwalking to his defence lawyers nine months after the attack.

It may well be other people accused of serious crime will try to avail themselves of this defence
Det Ch Insp Andy Durkin

He was subjected to what have been described as "the most detailed scientific tests in British legal history" at Broadmoor in a bid to recreate his reactions on the night of the killing.

Prosecutors suggested Lowe and his father had simply got into a drunken brawl, the defendant killed his father and then "blanked" it out of his mind.

The verdict, not guilty by way of insanity, does not mean Lowe is insane in the normal sense of the word, the judge said, only that Lowe is subject to "automatism" due to his sleepwalking.

Det Ch Insp Andy Durkin, of Greater Manchester Police, said outside court: "It may well be other people accused of serious crime will try to avail themselves of this defence and each case will have to be judged on its merits."

Killer's defence is 'desperate'
14 Mar 05 |  Manchester
Sleep tests on alleged murderer
11 Mar 05 |  Manchester
'Sleepwalker' accused of murder
10 Mar 05 |  Manchester

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