Australian mother won’t stand trial for killing 8 children

Australian mother won't stand trial for killing 8 children

BRISBANE, Australia — A mother who stabbed to death her seven children and a niece in northern Australia in 2014 will not stand trial for murder because she was suffering cannabis-induced schizophrenia when she lost control, according to a court judgment released Thursday.

Raina Thaiday stabbed herself 35 times after killing the children, aged 2 to 14 years, at her home in Cairns on Dec. 19, a month after her delusions began.

The Queensland state Mental Health Court ruled a month ago that Thaiday, then 37, had been of “unsound mind” when the children were slain. State law kept the ruling from being made public until Thursday.

She will be held indefinitely in a high-security ward of a psychiatric hospital in the state capital Brisbane and will not be allowed to leave the hospital grounds unescorted.

Thaiday, also known as Mersane Warria, had been smoking up to 20 cones of marijuana a day when she developed severe schizophrenia in late 2014, the court heard.

Justice Jean Dalton said there was convincing evidence that Thaiday suffered a psychotic episode and had no capacity to control or understand her actions.

“Her children were the things that had given her the most happiness in life,” Dalton said.

Thaiday remained psychotic until July 2015 and has had two relapses, once at the two-year anniversary of the deaths, and has expressed a desire to kill her fellow patients, the court heard.

Several psychiatrists agreed her lifelong abuse of cannabis triggered her schizophrenia.

The house where the children died was demolished and replaced with eight trees in their honour.

The Associated Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Monday rings in partial return of school across Saanich Peninsula

Saanich School District reopening of schools comes with revised health measures

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Pub seeks 55-seat patio on Oak Bay Avenue

Oak Bay invites businesses to expand onto sidewalks, parking spots

Police enforce school zone speed limits as Greater Victoria students return to class

Saanich police on the lookout for speeders outside Glanford Middle School

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read