A STUDENT who stabbed his step-dad to death at their luxury Wirral home has now admitted unlawfully killing him.

Benjamin Moglione attacked retired detective inspector Andrew McDiarmid with a kitchen knife causing 13 stab wounds and four incised wounds as he was isolating in his bedroom with Covid.

The 23-year-old chemical engineering student has been on trial at Liverpool Crown Court but today (Friday, March 8) the jury found him not guilty of murder and guilty of manslaughter on the judge’s directions.

He changed his plea to guilty to manslaughter with the “partial defence of diminished responsibility” yesterday in the jury’s absence.

A judge told the jury that Moglione, of Oldfield Way, Heswall, Wirral,  did not deny “he was responsible sadly for killing his step-father."

He said that while Alison Moglione, the wife of the  64-year-old victim, was in the shower and the defendant was believed to be in his bedroom, “he had taken a kitchen knife and gone to his step-father’s bedroom where he was in bed suffering from Covid and stabbed him multiple times to his chest and abdomen and in that way caused his death.”

Judge Andrew Menary, KC, explained that three psychiatrists agree that the defendant undoubtedly suffered from frontal lobe epilepsy.

He said: “It was not properly controlled, the consequences of which were he was suffering seizures and sometimes clusters of seizures and that resulted in post-ictal psychosis. It is a common occurrence of uncontrolled clusters of fits.”

He said symptoms can include hallucinations and the psychiatrists are of the firm conclusion he was suffering post-ictal psychosis “which explains how this very tragic event happened.”

The court heard that the possibility of automatism had been considered, meaning in effect his actions had been unconscious while he had been “literally sleep walking” but that was defence not supported.

Judge Menary said that cellist Moglione, who was on a break from his university studies at Sheffield at the time of the killing on the evening of January 24, 2022, “was aware of what he was doing, albeit suffering from psychosis, and was aware that it was wrong.”

He added: “He admits he was responsible for the killing and admits at the time he at least intended to cause really serious harm on the basis that at the time his responsibility was diminished as a consequence of his mental health.”

Judge Menary told Moglione, who sat in the dock accompanied by three psychiatric nurses, that he would be sentenced on May 21 and sentencing options include imprisonment, a hospital order with restrictions or a combination of both.

His barrister, Anne Whyte, KC, had asked for the adjournment to allow Moglione’s treating neurologist to prepare a report which will then enable the psychiatrists to produce a further report.

Moglione, who kept glancing over at his mother who sat in the crowded public gallery, was further remanded to secure hospital accommodation.