EVIL James Dunleavy beheaded his mother in an “honour killing” as he believed she had shamed the family, a former friend claims. Irishman Dunleavy, 40 – a Muslim convert – was last week found guilty of killing 66-year-old Philomena, cutting up her body and burying her in a shallow grave.
He was ordered to be detained in the State Hospital at Carstairs before he returns to court for sentencing in April. It has now emerged that Dunleavy may have misinterpreted the Koran and slaughtered his mother in an honour killing after she split from his dad.
Mohammed Razaq, who ran the shop below Dunleavy’s Edinburgh flat, befriended him after he moved to Scotland and helped him convert to Islam. Razaq believes the killer felt his mother had betrayed the family by leaving his dad and going to live with another man.
He said: “It’s a tragic event, I feel gutted. “I wish it had never happened and I feel sorry for James for carrying out such a heinous crime. “I think it was an honour killing, he was trying to protect his family’s honour.”
A source added: “James was pretty obsessed when it came to religion. “He was brought up a Catholic but just decided one day he would convert to Islam. “He was very, very serious about it and cared a lot about it. His faith was very important to him and he prayed five times a day.
“I can’t say if he killed his mum because he converted, but he believed very strongly in the morals of the Koran and was furious about his mum leaving his dad for someone else. “He saw it as adultery and they had a massive argument about it.”
Dunleavy had denied murdering his mum at his home between April 30 and May 7 last year. Her dismembered remains were discovered by a cyclist on nearby Corstorphine Hill on June 6 last year.
A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh found Dunleavy guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility on Friday.