Scientology 'stopped accused killer getting help'

AAP, Australia/July 9, 2007
By Katherine Danks

A Sydney woman accused of fatally stabbing her father, sister and injuring her mother was denied psychiatric treatment by her parents who were Scientologists, a court was told today.

The 24-year-old woman, who cannot be named, was diagnosed with a psychotic illness in late 2006 and recommended follow-up treatment at Bankstown Hospital, in Sydney's southwest.

Dr Mark Cross, the consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of Liverpool and Fairfield Mental Health Services, said the woman's parents refused this treatment.

"She had a history of being diagnosed with a psychotic illness in late 2006 at Bankstown Hospital, but follow-up from the mental health team was apparently declined by her parents because of their alleged Scientology beliefs," Dr Cross said.

The woman allegedly stabbing her 53-year-old father and 15-year-old sister to death at the family home in Hydrae Street at Revesby in Sydney's southwest on Thursday.

It is also alleged she stabbed her 52-year-old mother, who raised the alarm as she collapsed in a neighbour's driveway.

The woman told the neighbour her daughter had just killed her husband but that it wasn't her fault because she was "sick".

According to a police fact sheet tendered to Bankstown Local Court, the neighbour saw the 24-year-old still holding a knife as he put a blanket over the injured mother-of-six.

It's alleged that he stood up and looked over the fence and saw the woman walking calmly towards him, but after he told her the police were coming she walked away.

Police said the blood-soaked 24-year-old then got into a passing car and asked the driver if he was the person that was taking her to Croatia.

It's alleged that when the man said no, the woman appeared annoyed, and got out of the car only to stop it again moments later.

She then agreed that the driver take her to the police station, before getting out again when they were passed by a police car, which was responding to the triple-0 call.

When she was arrested minutes later, she allegedly said: "I've just butchered my family. I stabbed dad, mum and sister.

"They are all dead."

She was then taken to hospital where she allegedly shouted at staff that she wanted a knife and wanted more killing.

According to Dr Cross's report, instead of receiving follow-up treatment by Bankstown Hospital's mental health team, the woman had instead seen a private psychiatrist as well as a psychologist.

She also was prescribed an anti-depressant as well as an anti-psychotic treatment that she took until January this year, which made her feel anxious, and depressed.

She also experienced poor sleep and felt unsafe at home.

"She stated that her parents did not want her to take the prescribed medication she had been on in 2006, and apparently started her on medication they got from America – which was not psychiatric in nature," Dr Cross said.

The woman told Dr Cross that her feelings started to worsen three weeks before the killings and that her parents allowed her to restart her anti-psychotic medication as it helped her to sleep.

The woman was supported by about 20 family and friends at Bankstown Local Court where she was charged with two counts of murder and one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.

She was formally refused bail to face Burwood Local Court on Wednesday.

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