Amy’s killer pushes for autism defence
AUSTRALIAN woman Amy Parsons' fiance, who admitted beating her to death with a metal bar, claimed in court that he could be autistic as a defence against a murder charge.
Roderick Deakin-White's lawyers called medical experts to argue that he could be autistic.
However, Snaresbrook Crown Court in London heard other experts say there was no evidence he had autism or Asperger's.
The court also heard that Ms Parsons had told him she was going to visit her new partner in the moments before Deakin-White attacked her while she was in the shower at their east London flat.
Deakin-White, 38, has admitted killing Ms Parsons in April after an argument about his cross dressing and her relationship with another man.
He has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
The court has heard from two psychologists who said the killer shows strong signs of autism.
Dr Timothy Green, a forensic psychologist called by the Crown Prosecution Service, said on Friday he found no evidence Mr Deakin-White has autism or Asperger's.
"Other consultants found an oddness ... I did not find that," Dr Green said.
"He appeared to have a sense of humour that was not gauche.
"There was no suggestion from his developmental history that any great concern had been raised ... he had been to university ... he had friends.
"I discounted the possibility that he has autism."
However, Dr Green did not discount the possibility that Mr Deakin-White could suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Deakin-White previously told the court he had been forced to wear women's clothes and was abused as a child.
His cross-dressing and his continued unemployment had led to stress between him and Ms Parsons before her death.
Deakin-White had threatened suicide to stop his fiancee leaving and was particularly upset by her contact with a male colleague of Ms Parsons, James Saunders.
"He said she would say he was more of a man than he was, a better sexual partner," Dr Green told the court.
"She told him on the night in question that she was going to see Mr Saunders. He took that to mean the end of the relationship.
"That enraged him ... he clearly was over dependent on Ms Parsons and saw her as an extension of himself."
The accused's defence barrister Richard Carey-Hughes questioned Dr Green over the omission of several different difficulties Mr Deakin-White had when he was young, which can suggest autism.
"This is a man who wet the bed until he was 15 or 16," Mr Carey-Hughes told the court.
"He was found to have had dyslexia in college.
"He had slow speech acquisition which is a marker of autism.
"And but you didn't think any of this was worth mentioning in your final report."
Dr Green said he stood by his findings. The trial continues.