Convinced her children were about to be brainwashed by their “cult leader” grandparents, a young mother in Australia decided her family’s only salvation lay in death.
Last April she placed her three children, aged 16, 10 and 2, in the family car and crashed head-on into a tree at 100km/h.
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“I thought now was my opportunity – mainly for protection; not because I didn’t love them, more that my mind had thought so much about all this evil,” she told a psychiatrist in August.
“I had to protect them from being brainwashed … the only way was to go to heaven.”
Yesterday the Supreme Court found the woman, who cannot be identified, not guilty of attempted murder due to mental incompetence.
Acting Chief Justice Margaret Nyland made the ruling based on expert mental health reports which she later released to The Advertiser.
In one report, forensic psychiatrist Dr Craig Raeside said the mother, 33, had schizophrenia, with acute relapses caused by the use of illicit drugs.
He said the woman had delusional ideas about her adoptive parents wanting her dead because they were church-affiliated cult leaders. They attended court yesterday to support her. […]
Neither the children nor the woman was seriously injured in the incident, which occurred at Ingle Farm.
A subsequent urine test showed the woman had consumed methylamphetamine shortly before.