Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2000)
Diagnostic Values of Polysomnography in Forensic Medicine
A man accused of a first-degree murder of a two-year-old girl claimed that he had not been conscious during the time of the alleged murder. The possibility that he may have committed the crime while “sleepwalking” was raised. The forensic psychiatrist looked to the sleep disorders facility to conduct polysomnographic investigation of the accused in order to investigate the posibility that he had a parasomnia. Overnight sleep recordings with video surveillance carried out for two consecutive nights showed no evidence of parasomnia. On the basis of the full assessment, the final report of the forensic psychiatrist did not support a legal defense of non-insane automatism and “sleepwalking” was withdrawn as a possible defense by the lawyer of the accused.