Father who stabbed son to death not guilty of murder

By Tim Dornin and Mark Mooney

An Adelaide man who stabbed his four-year-old son to death has been found not guilty of murder because he is mentally ill.

The boy’s grieving mother delivered a heartbreaking and powerful victim impact statement calling for more mental health reform.

David Janzow, 38, was alleged to have killed his four-year-old son Luca in July last year.

A picture of happiness: the Janzow family before the tragic events that led to Luca's death.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the objective elements of the offence had been proved but that Janzow was mentally incompetent at the time.

In an emotional victim impact statement read to the court the boy's mother, Julia Trinne, described him as a special soul: “a cheeky, clever and creative boy”.

"He had an inner wisdom far beyond his years," she said.

Ms Trinne said the killing had left her "utterly and incomprehensibly broken" and wishing that her husband had taken her instead.

Julia Trinne delivered a heartbreaking victim impact statement.

"I know what it's like to fall to my knees not knowing if I will be able to get up," Ms Trinne said.

"A living nightmare does not come close to what I have been going through."

But she also said she had loved her husband of 11 years and hoped the death of her son would bring attention to issues of mental health and the struggle people battling a mental illness faced.

She said her husband had suffered for some time and then became acutely unwell quickly.

“There was no warning. There was not a suggestion that any of us were in danger,” Ms Trinne told the court.

Mr Janzow's ex-wife said he had suffered for some time and became acutely unwell quickly. Photo: 7News

She said: “My hopes are that this tragedy will help bring awareness, understanding, support and promotion to mental health”.

Court documents revealed Mr Janzow was afraid the boy would develop bi-polar disorder, which he had, and wanted to spare him.

After receiving a series of psychiatric reports, Justice John Sulan found Mr Janzow not guilty of murder by reason of mental incompetence.

He ordered that Mr Janzow be supervised for life in a mental health facility.

News break - December 14