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

Just Posted

Photos: Ts’aahl wins super-close Clan Tournament

Three games finished in overtime. In the semi-final, the defending Clan Tournament… Continue reading

New year, same tips from B.C.’s forestry watchdog

Pointing to Haida Gwaii, Forest Practices Board says district managers need more enforcement powers

Fat Tire Girls

Tough north-island duo braves river crossings and storm winds on cycling trek from Tlell to Tow Hill

Time is right for War of the Blink

New Haida manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas tells a war story that ends in the blink of an eye

Masset Magic: A Christmas Classic to remember

By Jana McLeod Here I am, a full hour before the column… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Most Read