The parents of a woman accused of murdering her father and sister apparently declined psychiatric treatment for her last year because of their Scientology beliefs, a report tendered in court states.
And a police version of events tendered to the court outlined the nightmarish scenario faced by the family’s neighbours following the alleged murders.
The psychiatric report on the 25-year-old woman, who is also charged with committing grievous bodily harm on her mother at Revesby in Sydney’s west last Thursday, was done at Liverpool Hospital by Mark Cross, consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of the Liverpool and Fairfield Mental Health Services.
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted atWhat judges have to say about Scientology
Dr Cross stated that the woman was diagnosed with a psychiatric illness late last year but follow-up from the mental health team at Bankstown Hospital was apparently declined by her parents due to their alleged Scientology beliefs.
The woman subsequently saw a private psychiatrist and was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs.
She took those drugs until January this year when she felt better and wanted to work things through on her own, the report stated.
Move home after relationship breakdown
She had moved back home with her parents following a relationship breakdown and other stresses, including changing to an evangelical church.
She had been working with her father for a year in his electronics business.
Dr Cross reported that the woman said her symptoms re-emerged in January this year, including panic, anxiety, depression and anger, as well as feeling paranoid and unsafe at home.
The woman stated that her parents did not want her to take the medication she had been prescribed and apparently started her on medication they obtained from America, which was not psychiatric in nature.
The woman said her symptoms had got worse over the past three weeks, culminating in her parents apparently allowing her to restart her anti-psychotic medication as it helped her sleep.
She said that on the Thursday when the incident occurred she had an argument with her mother while they were out together and she was still angry and upset when they got home.
Delusion about people on TV talking about her
Dr Cross’s analysis of the woman’s mental state yesterday was that she showed evidence of psychosis, auditory hallucinations and delusions, including the belief that people on the television and radio had been talking about her.
The doctor said his analysis was that the woman was mentally unwell and was mentally ill at the time of the incident.
About 20 family members and their supporters today filled Burwood Local Court before magistrate Anthony Spence, who reviewed the police version of events.
He said the psychiatric report “depicts a very distressing set of circumstances”.
“There seems to be very profound mental health issues involved with this case, to say the least,” he said, adding that he strongly recommended that the woman receive psychiatric and mental health treatment while in custody.
High risk to herself
Reading from the psychiatric report, Mr Spence said a doctor had recommended that the woman be admitted to a Corrective Services psychiatric facility and that she required immediate psychiatric treatment and was at a high risk to herself.
Police say at 3:50pm the family’s next-door neighbour was mowing his lawn when he heard a female screaming.
He looked over the fence to see the mother supporting herself with her right hand and her back twisted slightly but he did not see any blood.
The neighbour saw the alleged murderer chasing her sister towards the house with only about 60 centimetres between them.
However, he thought they were playing a game and continued mowing his lawn. Five minutes later, as he emptied his grass catcher, he looked towards a side driveway and saw the mother collapse.
“Help me,” she said.
He ran to her, seeing blood all over her clothing and deep gashes to her hands.
She was moaning and said: “Call 000 [my daughter] has killed [my husband].”
He went to his house, grabbed a portable phone, called 000 and went outside to cover the mother with a blanket.
Hearing a noise from across the fence, he looked over and saw the accused murderer walking from the house towards the fence in a fashion he described as “calm”.
Holding knife beside her leg
The woman was holding a knife beside her right leg, he told police.
She peered over the fence and looked at her mother on the ground.
The neighbour said: “No, no, go, get out of here. The police are coming.”
The neighbour told police he then saw the woman walk towards a neighbouring house, carrying a knife in her right hand.
She went up to the driver of a car sitting in the driveway. The driver of the car told police the woman had approached him and said: “Are you here to pick me up?”
He said: “Do you need a lift?”
She replied: “Are you here to take me?”
To which he answered: “I don’t think so.”
The woman opened the car door and sat in the front passenger seat, bleeding from her hands and with blood on her clothing.
Meanwhile, another neighbour was comforting her injured mother. She told police the woman said: “My daughter stabbed [my husband]. She had a mental illness.”
‘It’s not her fault. She is sick’
She then told another bystander: “It’s not her fault. She is sick.”
In the car, the woman, when asked where she was going, said: “Aren’t you the person taking me to Croatia?”
When the driver told her that wasn’t the case, she said: “You mustn’t be the person I’m waiting for.”
She got out of the car but soon after, flagged the driver down and again, climbed inside. After a short conversation, the man drove away and tried to flag down a police car.
Shortly after, the woman got out of the car and jogged to a nearby street where she was apprehended by police.
The police said the woman told the officers: “What have I done? I just butchered my family … I have just butchered my family. I stabbed Dad, Mum and sister. They are all dead.”
The woman was arrested by police and taken to Liverpool Hospital where she became very agitated, yelling: “I just want a knife. I want more killing. More, I need more. I’m wanting more killing. The knife, the f—-ing knife. I’ve left the knife in the f—-ing front door. Die, bitch, die.”
Not fit to be interviewed
The woman was restrained and sedated and when spoken to by police later that night, asked about her mother.
The woman was not fit to be interviewed and has not yet been formally interviewed by police.
The woman’s legal aid solicitor, Wade Bloomfield, told the court he was unable to receive instructions from his client because of her condition.
A family spokesman said outside court: “We all want the best for our family member and are satisfied that has happened today.”
She was remanded to appear at Burwood Local Court on July 11.