A woman from Sydney, Australia, has been found guilty of manslaughter after decapitating her own mother after arguing in court that she was impaired by multiple mental disorders. Jessica Camilleri, 27, told a psychiatrist that her heinous act was inspired by violent horror movies which she loved watching.
The NSW Supreme Court heard she repeatedly stabbed her mother, Rita, in their St Clair home in July last year before carrying the 57-year-old’s head outside and then asking neighbours to call the police.
But Camilleri pleaded not guilty to murder, arguing that impairment of the mind caused her to lose control of her actions — and that its severity warranted the charge being reduced to manslaughter. It took the jury just over two days to find Camilleri guilty of manslaughter.
During the trial, jurors were shown video from a body-worn camera of one of the first police officers called to the gruesome scene.
“Can I ask, is my mum dead?” Camilleri said in the video, covered in blood. “Don’t think I’m insane, but you can’t bring her back to life?”
Camilleri told police she was ‘in a fit of rage like I’ve never been before’ after her mother dragged her by the hair into the kitchen and grabbed a knife first, forcing her to defend herself.
“I wanted to give her a taste of her own medicine, but not to kill her,” she said during an interview.
But she gave a conflicting account when later examined by psychiatrists, admitting she was the one who dragged her mother and reached for the weapons.
The court heard Camilleri stopped taking psychiatric medication six months before the attack in favour of seeking natural alternatives. Her sister, Kristy Torrisi, said she was ‘constantly’ demanding attention from their mother, who became tired and exhausted from being a sole carer.
Camilleri will be sentenced in February.