A Perth man who was experiencing hallucinations and delusions when he fatally stabbed his mom, eight-year-old brother and 15-year-old sister has been acquitted of their homicide on the premise that he was of unsound thoughts.
Teancum Vernon Petersen-Crofts, 21, killed his mom Michelle Petersen, 48, brother Rua and sister Bella at their Ellenbrook residence on July 15, 2018.
He confronted a judge-alone trial within the WA Supreme Courtroom after pleading not responsible to their murders on madness grounds.
Chief Justice Peter Quinlan on Monday mentioned he was happy past cheap doubt that Petersen-Crofts had killed his members of the family however that he was not criminally accountable for doing so due to his psychological sickness.
Petersen-Crofts, who has been identified with schizophrenia and is being supported by members of the family, will proceed to be detained in a safe psychiatric facility.
Justice Quinlan mentioned he was happy that Petersen-Crofts had been disadvantaged of the capability to regulate his actions on the time of the killings.
He accepted that Petersen-Crofts had skilled hallucinations and delusions together with “instructions and directions” from varied deities.
“The voices had been telling you that you should kill your loved ones to avoid wasting your self and to avoid wasting the world,” Justice Quinlan mentioned.
“These instructions had been delusions however I discover they had been actual to you on the time, as actual as I’m chatting with you now.”
The trial heard Ms Petersen had been trying to get assist for her son and had advised associates she feared for herself and her youthful youngsters due to his more and more weird behaviour within the weeks main as much as the killings.
Psychiatrists advised the court docket he had displayed signs of a psychotic dysfunction for the reason that age of 14 when first admitted to hospital in his native New Zealand.
However Justice Quinlan mentioned Petersen-Crofts had by no means acquired sufficient or sustained anti-psychotic remedy.
“A prison trial will not be the time or the place to contemplate how the group can higher assist individuals such as you that suffer each day from critical psychological diseases,” the decide mentioned.
“However it’s nonetheless true to say, Mr Petersen-Crofts, that we, the entire group, have failed you. And we failed your mum and your sister and your brother, and we failed your grandmother and the remainder of your loved ones whose loss is indescribable.”
The trial heard Petersen-Crofts turned up at his native police station on July 13, shirtless and sweating profusely and claiming his neighbour was a serial killer.
He was detained and transferred to the emergency division at St John of God Hospital in Midland, the place medical doctors mentioned he was probably floridly psychotic.
However the next morning he appeared calm and medical doctors agreed to discharge him, regardless of his mom’s considerations.
Forensic psychiatrist Daniel de Klerk advised the court docket Petersen-Crofts had been admitted as an inpatient with psychotic signs on 12 events and introduced at emergency departments many extra instances.
He mentioned he was shocked Petersen-Crofts had not “been taken extra critically” by medical doctors at St John of God Hospital.
“The end result might have been very completely different had he been admitted,” Dr de Klerk mentioned.
In a recorded police interview the day after the slayings, Petersen-Crofts claimed his neighbour was a serial killer and blamed him for killing his members of the family.
Later within the interview, he mentioned a deity named “Massive Papa” had dedicated the crimes.
He additionally claimed he had “saved 4 billion individuals final evening” and repeatedly said “put me on loss of life row” earlier than refusing to reply additional questions.
The trial heard harrowing proof in regards to the killings, together with that every of the victims acquired between 44 and 54 stab wounds from a big kitchen knife.
Bella was nonetheless alive within the yard, softly pleading for assist, when police arrived. She died on the way in which to hospital.
Petersen-Crofts was arrested exterior a close-by service station after exhibiting up in an agitated state with blood on his arms, telling a employee he had simply killed his mom and siblings.