Cyprus Mail

Mother who killed son, 12, acquitted on insanity grounds, committed to psychiatric facility (updated)

Nicosia court

A 40-year-old woman who stabbed her son, 12, to death last year was acquitted of a murder charge on Monday due to insanity and was committed to a psychiatric facility under a permanent hospitalisation order.

The Nicosia criminal court said its findings showed that presumption of sanity had been refuted “and it has been proven that the defendant not only suffers from insanity, but  when she was taking the life of the victim she was in no position to know what she was doing …”

“As a result, we find that the defendant has committed the act she is accused of, but is acquitted due to insanity that existed during commission of the offence, which was carried out as a result of a psychiatric disorder,” the court said.

The three-judge panel issued a permanent order committing the woman to a psychiatric facility.

The woman, from Kazakhstan, had tried to commit suicide after killing her son in their flat in Yeri late last August.

A post mortem showed that the child died from a lethal wound to the throat.

The woman was rushed to hospital where she underwent surgery. She was later examined by a psychiatrist and an order was issued mandating her committal to the psychiatric hospital in Athalassa.

The drama unfolded at around lunchtime after the woman’s Greek Cypriot husband, 52, the boy’s stepfather, called the fire service for assistance when he unable to enter the flat because the door was locked.

They managed to enter through a window only to find the 12-year-old lying dead in his bed and the woman in the hall.

The mother had admitted the crime to police, saying she wanted to rid her son and herself of the pain.

The court questioned why the woman’s condition had not been detected before the crime.

“We cannot understand how the defendant’s paranoid schizophrenia, which was so obvious to the doctors who examined her immediately after the offence, was not diagnosed a month before” during a psychiatric evaluation.

The evaluation was carried out after the woman told her husband she intended to kill herself, but she worried what would become of her child.

“Of course, we don’t know whether these particulars were raised during the defendant’s evaluation a month before the offence,” the court said. “We are of the view however, that these should have been taken into serious consideration and communicated to the specialist psychiatrists who would have assessed them properly to arrive at a timely diagnosis of the defendant’s schizophrenia and the need for her enforced hospitalisation at least a month before the offence.”

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