BATMAN ACCUSED 'MENTAL ILLNESS' Plea for Help before Shooting

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BATMAN maniac James Holmes is mentally ill and tried to get help before the massacre, a court was told yesterday.

Lawyers for the Colorado gunman - who is facing 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder - repeatedly made references to Holmes, 24, having an unspecified mental illness.

It is the first clear sign that his legal team are set to defend the former neuroscience graduate on grounds of insanity.

Holmes is accused of bursting into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora and opening fire in the crowded cinema, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

He appeared in court yesterday at a hearing on media access to court files, wearing maroon prison clothes and shackled at the hands and ankles.

Dazed Holmes seemed alert but remained silent, staring straight ahead for his third courtroom appearance since the July 20 mass shooting. Court papers filed by defence attorneys two weeks ago said Holmes had been a patient of the medical director for student mental health services before he filed paperwork to drop out of college.

The psychiatrist, Dr Lynne Fenton, did report Holmes to a campus threat assessment team and a campus police officer after she became worried about him. …