NT woman ‘delusion’ led to murder attempt
A woman who tried to kill her ex-partner as she believed he was planning to murder her and was sexually abusing and involving their son in a pedophile ring was acting under persecutory delusions, a Darwin court has heard.
A special hearing is being held to determine whether the woman, who cannot be named, is mentally fit to stand trial.
A Supreme Court jury has heard that the woman was suffering extreme grief after losing custody of her son to her former partner, who she thought was sexually abusing him.
She believed her former partner was conspiring with a shadowy organisation called the Illuminati to kill her, so on May 7 last year she took a gun to his home and chased him on foot and by car along the Stuart Highway, firing at him.
His thumb was injured in the attack, and his mother was wounded.
Although a court order blocked the woman from contacting her then six-year-old son, she bought a teddy bear and concealed a telephone inside so he could contact her, the court heard.
“She wanted to give him a gift of love, she wanted him to know she was still there,” the woman’s fiance testified on Wednesday.
He told the court the boy had told him his biological father was abusing him, and said she was a good mother.
“[She] used to stay up a lot at night; she was always crying, inconsolably,” the fiance said.
“[Her son] was saying he’d been abused. She just wanted her son safe and she felt like the authorities had let her down.”
Two psychiatrists told the court that although they judged the woman knew what she was doing when she attacked her ex-partner, she believed she was doing the right thing.
“She knew that shooting a gun at a person was a very dangerous thing to do that was going to cause harm… [But] she actually believed she was saving her son,” Dr Kevin Smith said.
Justice Trevor Riley has directed the jury that it may find the woman either guilty, not guilty or not guilty by reason of mental impairment.
The hearing continues.