An Australian woman who admitted to stabbing eight children to death will not stand trial because she was of “unsound mind” at the time, a court ruled.
Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday suffered a psychotic episode and was not responsible for killing her four sons, three daughters and a niece in December 2014, Queensland’s Mental Health Court ruled.
The decision, made last month, was made public Thursday. All charges against Thaiday, 40, have been dropped. She is being held at a high-security mental health ward in Brisbane and it was unclear if she will ever be released.
Thaiday suffered from undiagnosed schizophrenia and an “apocalyptic delusional state,” psychiatrist Frank Varghese told the court.
“This is quite a unique case and a horrendous case, the likes of which I’ve never seen before,” he testified. “This is schizophrenia at its very depth and its worst.”
Forensic psychiatrist Jane Phillips told the court a “dove call” sent Thaiday over the edge. “She heard the sound of a bird and believed from hearing that sound it was a message she must kill the children to save them.”
The house where they were killed has been demolished and replaced with a park to remember the children ages 2 to 14 — Malili, Angelina, Shantae, Rayden, Azariah, Daniel, Rodney and Patrenella.