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High Court acquits woman with schizophrenia who killed her 8-year-old daughter; to be confined indefinitely

The Independent logo The Independent 3 days ago Veronica Lee

Warning: Readers may find some of the detailed descriptions in the content of this article disturbing.

A woman suffering from schizophrenia who also killed her eight-year-old daughter has pleaded guilty to murder charges but has been acquitted by the High Court because of her mental incapacity at the time of the attack.

The court ordered the woman to be held in prison pending further orders from the Law Minister. Under the Criminal Procedure Code, in cases where the accused is acquitted on the basis of mental incapacity, the court must order the person to be kept in safe custody and for the case to be reported to the minister.

The Court heard that the 36-year-old accused, and her boyfriend, have two daughters. Her boyfriend returned to work in China in 2014 but would visit each other until the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Between 2018 and 2020, the accused’s family found that the accused was behaving strangely. The accused suspected that her mobile phone and computer had been hacked, or that she was being followed, and even discarded the food prepared by her family. She was worried that someone would hurt her and her daughter.

At 11:00 am on Aug 10 last year, the accused’s daughter kept crying in the room, while the accused was incoherent and shouted loudly. The accused’s brother entered the room to check and found that the accused was naked and holding scissors, while the accused’s eldest daughter was lying motionless on the ground, with blood everywhere, and there was a blood-stained knife in the room. The victim later died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and body.

The investigation found that the accused suffered from schizophrenia for several years without receiving treatment, and her condition got worse. She started having auditory hallucinations in March last year. On the day of the incident, she heard a voice telling her that the eldest daughter was an evil spirit and that she had to be killed. A voice also told her to take off her clothes and cut herself.

According to a psychiatrist’s assessment, the accused was in serious condition at the time of the crime and did not know what she was doing.

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