‘Schizophrenia at its very depths’ drove mother to kill eight children

Stuff co.nz 4 May 2017
Family First Comment: Myth – Marijuana never killed anyone….
“Along the way the court heard details of the 40-year-old’s descent into “schizophrenia at its very depths”, likely exacerbated by years of heavy cannabis use, and culminating in her being in a psychotic state when she killed eight children under the age of 15…. The court heard cannabis was commonly linked to the onset of schizophrenia in those already vulnerable to the illness.”
#saynopetodope

The first to die was the family’s pet duck, killed in an attempt to rid the house of evil.

By then, Raina Thaiday had already been on a cleaning frenzy for a week, scrubbing the ceilings of her Australian home and tossing possessions out into the yard in a bid to “cleanse” the house.

But it was when she heard a dove’s call, which she interpreted as a sign from God, that she decided she must “kill her children in order to save them”.

The Mental Health Court of Queensland last month ruled, in a decision not made public until Thursday, that Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday was of unsound mind when she stabbed to death seven of her children and a niece in her home in Cairns on December 19, 2014.

“To her way of thinking at the time, what she was doing was the best thing she could do for her children. She was trying to save them,” Justice Jean Dalton said, exempting the mother from trial and confining her to mental health treatment.

Along the way the court heard details of the 40-year-old’s descent into “schizophrenia at its very depths”, likely exacerbated by years of heavy cannabis use, and culminating in her being in a psychotic state when she killed eight children under the age of 15.

The court heard cannabis was commonly linked to the onset of schizophrenia in those already vulnerable to the illness.

Thaiday kicked a 10-20 cone a day habit in the months before the slaughter, leading psychiatrists to question whether her “psychosis” was a form of withdrawal, before mostly rejecting the notion.

Instead, Dr Jane Phillips and Dr Donald Grant agreed it was more likely the illness began to affect her while she was still using cannabis, causing to her to develop “religious delusions” that “forced her to live a clean life”.

“Altogether it amounts to a very convincing body of evidence that Mrs Thaiday was psychotic at the time of the killing,” Justice Dalton said.

She ruled Thaiday had the defence of unsoundness of mind available to her and issued a forensic order for ongoing mental health treatment.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/92210576/schizophrenia-at-its-very-depths-drove-mother-to-kill-eight-children

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