Student admits killing his stepdad, who was stabbed 17 times in his own bed

Andrew McDiarmid, a former detective inspector at Merseyside Police died aged 64 after being knifed inside the family home in Heswall, Wirral, in January 2022. Credit: Echo Syndication

A university student has admitted killing his stepdad after the ex-police officer was stabbed 17 times in his own bed.

Andrew McDiarmid, a former detective inspector who served Merseyside Police for 30 years, died aged 64 after being attacked inside the family home on Oldfield Way in Heswall, Wirral, in January 2022.

His wife's son Benjamin Moglione has been standing trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of his murder.

But he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter on Thursday, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

On Friday, the court was told by prosecution junior Stephen McNally that this plea would be accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The jury was therefore instructed to record a not guilty verdict on the murder charge faced by Moglione. He will be sentenced on May 21..

Forensic teams on Oldfield Way in Heswall in Jan 2022 Credit: Echo Syndication

The Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC, who presided who the trial, said: "In this case, the defendant does not deny that he was responsible for sadly killing his stepfather. It seems that - while Benjamin Moglione's mother was in the shower, at a time when he was believed to be in bed - he had taken a kitchen knife, gone to his stepfather's bedroom and stabbed him multiple times to the chest and abdomen and in that way caused his death.

"Three doctors have independently looked at the circumstances of this case, and each independently reached conclusions. The conclusions of each of them are that Benjamin Moglione undoubtedly suffered from epilepsy and that it was not properly controlled, the consequences of which were that he suffered seizures and sometimes clusters of seizures.

"That resulted in postictal psychosis. It is a common occurrence as a result of uncontrolled clusters of seizures that is often associated with a range of psychotic symptoms.

"The doctors each concluded that, at the time of the killing, Mr Moglione, they are of the firm conclusion, was suffering from postictal psychosis, secondary to his uncontrolled frontal lobe epilepsy, and that medical conclusion explains why it is that this very tragic event happened. Another potential issue is whether or not his medical condition was so severe on that night that his actions were, in effect, unconscious actions and whether or not a defence of automatism was available to him.

"The medical evidence in relation to that is now clear. The medical evidence now is that, while he was suffering from postictal psychosis, the defendant was aware of what he was doing and was aware that it was wrong.

"He was not unconscious and he was not sleepwalking at the time he did it. The complete defence of automatism is not available, but there is evidence capable of supporting the partial defence of diminished responsibility."

Earlier, a jury of eight men and four women heard the prosecution's opening that the 23-year-old's mum Alison Moglione had called 999 at around 8.45pm on January 24 2022 and reported that her son had stabbed her husband. Emergency services subsequently attended the address and found Mr McDiarmid lying gravely wounded on top of the bed in the couple's bedroom.

Andrew McDiarmid Credit: Echo Syndication

He was said to have "sustained some 17 wounds to his body", 13 being stab wounds and "some described as incised wounds". Mr Cole told the court that a number of these injuries had been "inflicted with severe force".

Moglione - who suffers from a "number of physical and mental health issues, in particular epilepsy" - was arrested at the scene, and has remained in hospital since."

Ms Moglione was also arrested following Mr McDiarmid's death and spent the following two nights in custody. She said of this: "I’ve never even had a parking ticket in my life. I feel I didn’t know, and Andy didn't know, how ill Ben was. This could have been avoided if we had a good neurologist who had put him on the right medication."

Benjamin Moglione will be sentenced in May.