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Crazed cult follower caged after frenzied attack

Enfield and Haringy Independent, UK
Sep. 27, 2004 • Monday September 27, 2004

A Palmers Green woman who became a crazed disciple of the cult Kabbalah religion is in maximum security Broadmoor today after stabbing her great-grandmother and lover to death.

Phiona Davis, 25, of Green Lanes, was a devotee of the controversial Kabbalah sect, which counts Madonna, Britney Spears and Demi Moore, among its followers.

The fashion student stabbed lover Keith Fernandez 58 times and knifed her 81-year-old great grandmother Mary Skerritt 130 times, the Old Bailey heard.

She was a regular worshipper at the London branch of the Kabbalah Centre, in Stratford Place, Mayfair, set up with a 3.65 million grant from Madonna.

The court heard neighbours reported a man screaming at Davis’ home on October 12 last year. They broke down the door to find her astride her lover’s body, repeatedly stabbing him in the face.

Davis warned ‘Don’t come any closer. I’m going to do it.’ Mr Fernandez, of Seven Kings, managed to stagger out of the flat, but he collapsed and died.

One witness said: “Her eyes were glazed and evil looking and she had an evil look on her face.”

Davis shouted: “God done good, for this is done through God.”

David managed to evade capture and the next day she attacked her great-grandmother, Mary Skerritt, at her home in Spencer Grove, Stoke Newington.

Neighbours called the fire brigade after seeing smoke billowing from the windows. They found Davis outside screaming: “I am God, I am the benevolent one, burn the demons and burn her.”

The court heard she held out her hands ‘like Jesus’ and tried to stop the firefighters entering the flat, shouting, ‘only God can judge me in the heavens.’ Mrs Skerritt was found lying in a pool of blood in the hallway. Crucifixes and the woman’s jewellery had been laid out on the floor and a palm cross was left by the front door.

Davis had set four fires in the house and all the gas rings were on.

As she was taken away, she screamed: “You can arrest me, but you can’t punish me. Only God can punish me.”

Later, at Stoke Newington police station, she attempted to strangle herself and smeared crosses on the wall with excrement and blood.

She shouted at police “I am the messiah and the king of kings. I will forgive you all.”

Davis was sent to Broadmoor hospital on Tuesday, after an eminent psychiatrist described her as one of the ‘illest’ people he had ever seen. She was cleared of murder by reason of insanity.

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