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Perth high-rise murder trial wraps up

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Rebecca Le May

A judge has reserved her decision on whether a man who stabbed a 57-year-old former neighbour to death at a Perth high-rise is not guilty on insanity grounds.

Noor Mohammad Siddique has admitted stabbing Aboriginal man Cedric Lionel Roe 31 times in the head, trunk and left leg after inviting him into his South Perth apartment on May 26 last year.

But his defence lawyer Mark Trowell argues his client was highly psychotic at the time and unable to control himself.

Mr Trowell told the judge-alone, WA Supreme Court trial on Wednesday his client was suffering from schizophrenia and was plagued by constant auditory hallucinations.

"This was someone who had gone untreated for years and diagnosed incorrectly," Mr Trowell told Justice Lindy Jenkins.

"It came to a point. He was at the height of his delusional beliefs.

"The accused was unable to control his conduct."

The court heard Siddique was fixated with Aboriginal people and mistakenly believed his girlfriend had been abducted and raped by members of the indigenous community, who were in a conspiracy to persecute him.

"Why he focused on Aboriginal people, who knows," Mr Trowell said.

The lawyer said Siddique had been exhibiting signs of psychosis several months before the frenzied attack, which may have been triggered by something, and had been carrying a knife for self-defence.

Prosecutor James MacTaggart told the court Siddique had said in an interview that his victim had asked "how is Whitey?", which was interpreted as a reference to his girlfriend.

Siddique then said: "I just went off, you know what I mean?"

Mr MacTaggart said provocation was no longer a basis by which a murder charge could be reduced to manslaughter, and the fact Siddique had hidden the knife showed "one degree or another, there was premeditation in this case".

Mr Trowell said it was hard to discern the facts of the case, given everyone was relying on the account of the accused, who was inherently unreliable because of his condition.

"It's a tricky thing - it does invite us to speculate," he said.

In winding up his closing submission, Mr Trowell pointed to examples of Siddique's irrational behaviour - going to a hardware store to buy bin bags to wrap up the body after the attack, rather than purchasing them in advance, and bringing over an employee to help clean up "as if you were shifting furniture".

Justice Jenkins will deliver her verdict on November 7.

If Siddique is acquitted, a custody order will be made to keep him in a psychiatric facility, but if he is found guilty, he will be jailed.

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