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Double murder accused 'tried to frame relatives'

A man accused of bludgeoning his elderly parents to death in their West Australian home allegedly tried to frame relatives he claimed took part in satanic rituals.

Robert George Dent, 48, has been charged with murdering his parents Colin, 75, and Bernice, 74, at their Capel residence in September 2021.

He has pleaded not guilty on the basis he was of unsound mind.

Supreme Court Justice Joe McGrath on Monday granted Dent a judge-alone trial, finding the sole issue to be determined was his mental capacity at the time of the alleged offending.

A statement of facts filed by prosecutors said Dent was a recluse who had lived with his parents and had a number of health issues.

It alleges he armed himself with a rubber mallet before entering his father's bedroom and striking him repeatedly until he was dead.

Dent then allegedly entered his mother's bedroom and struck her multiple times with the mallet before cutting her throat with a knife.

Prosecutors allege Dent remained in the house for several days, taking steps to "make it appear his parents had been killed by relatives" and that he had been sexually assaulted by those relatives.

"He wrote statements on walls and doors of various rooms in the house naming relatives as the killers, as well as stating they were paedophiles involved in satanic rituals," the document filed to the court said.

After cleaning the house, Dent self-mutilated then called triple-zero to seek assistance for his injuries, prosecutors said.

When police attended, it's alleged he told them his parents were dead in the house and he had killed them.

"The accused claimed radionics machines controlled by his relatives told him to kill his parents and himself," the document said.

"He believed the motive for his relatives' actions stemmed from a perceived family dispute dating back to 1991."

Expert psychiatric reports submitted to the court found Dent was likely suffering at the time of the alleged offending from schizophrenia or a schizoaffective disorder.

He will face trial in June.