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September, 25

Man placed in psychiatric facility James Nash House following violent attack on mother

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A man who attacked his mother “with an extraordinary level of violence” believing she was an alien in disguise will spend more than a decade in a secure psychiatric facility.

The man — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of mental incompetence in the South Australian Supreme Court last year.

He was suffering a psychotic relapse and had delusions that his mother had been taken by alien forces when he attacked her in her home in Adelaide’s south in October 2018.

The Supreme Court heard the woman was getting a loaf of bread out from the freezer when her son grabbed her from behind and started attacking her saying, “what did you do with my mum, where’s my mum?”

In sentencing on Tuesday, Justice David Peek said the woman was attacked “with great ferocity”.

“You left your mother with life-threatening injuries which required immediate and multiple surgeries followed by close to two months in an intensive care ward,” he said.

The court previously heard the man had told his mother the night before the incident that there was “something wrong with his head” and he was not “thinking straight”.

The man had a “long history of mental health problems”, but had a good relationship with his mother.

Psychiatric report found man needed long-term support

Justice Peek said a psychiatric report prepared for him by forensic psychologist Dr Loraine Lim concluded the man was still psychotic and was likely to require long-term intensive support and supervision.

The report also found he was likely to abscond interstate if released from treatment prematurely.

“Although medication has reduced his inclination to act on his delusions, his mental state is easily destabilised by stress,” Justice Peek read.

“Given the extraordinary level of violence involved, his treatment resistance and poor prognosis he will require a substantial period of inpatient rehabilitation followed by a very lengthy period of close supervision on licence in the community.

“Any future discharge from the forensic hospital should be done very cautiously and gradually.”

Justice Peek ordered the man be detained at secure psychiatric facility James Nash House for a limiting term of 11 years and six months.

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