Man who stabbed wife not guilty of murder

·3-min read

A husband who stabbed his wife to death outside her work at a Sydney hospital has been found not guilty of murder due to mental illness.

There was no doubt Mourad Kerollos, 62, intended to kill his wife of 24 years when he followed her out of her last shift at Randwick's Prince of Wales Hospital on May 18, 2019.

After stabbing Gihan Kerollos multiple times in the neck he dialled triple zero and told the operator "I kill my wife".

Her body was found lying partly on the footpath with her head covered in a plastic bag.

Acting Justice Peter Hidden, presiding over the trial without a jury, found the killing was plainly the product of mental illness following family observations and that of police on the night, and two psychiatrists.

"This is not the typical case, sadly all too common, of violence inflicted upon a woman by a controlling, jealous and suspicious husband," Justice Hidden said in his Supreme Court judgment on Thursday.

Kerollos's delusion of infidelity began about two or three years before he killed her, and after he did have an affair in 2015.

"When I had an affair I went and confessed ... All I want is for her to confess," he told a bishop of his Coptic Orthodox Church.

He became obsessed with the idea his wife was a "prostitute" and making adult films for money. He regularly checked her mobile phone, installed a GPS tracker on her car and began secretly recording her conversations.

Ms Kerollos, fondly known as Gigi, told a colleague and close friend of 13 years that she had split with her husband but they remained living together for financial reasons.

Jacqueline Crombie witnessed Kerollos randomly showing up at their work, fighting with her in Arabic about her "cheating" and heard a telephone argument where he was angry the pair were going out, according to the facts.

At the beginning of 2019 Ms Kerollos told Ms Crombie: "I don't know if he is insane or just evil."

About two weeks later Ms Crombie asked how he could possibly believe she was having an affair as she spent all her time at work or at home.

"He's got two personalities," she responded.

On the day of the killing, "ominously," she sent a text to a friend saying he was "getting worse and he really needs medical attention," Justice Hidden said.

Both forensic psychiatrists agreed with the defence of mental illness and that he was psychotic at the time of the killing.

They say the death of his mother 24 years ago was a significant event for him, as he often heard her voice in his head.

He told both psychiatrists his belief that his wife was a sex worker and was concealing the money that she earned, and suggested to one that "her promiscuity extended to members of the clergy of their church".

He had been drinking about half a bottle of whisky daily leading up to the incident and smelled strongly of alcohol when police found him after the incident.

Forensic psychiatrist Kerri Eagle determined he had been suffering from a major psychotic disorder, describing in oral evidence some traits of his morbid jealousy associated with delusions of infidelity as "Othello syndrome".

Kerollos will be detained "for some years," and subject to a regime of treatment and rehabilitation.