South Australian woman found not guilty of husband's axe murder freed

Michael Ramsey

An elderly woman charged with using an axe and two knives to murder her husband in their Adelaide home will be allowed to live in the community after being found not guilty because of mental incompetence.

Lucia Colella, 76, was accused of murdering Antonio Colella at their Alberton home in Adelaide last July.

Lucia Colella, 75, leaves the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday, February 5, 2015, after pleading not guilty to murdering her husband. Photo: AAP

In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Kevin Nicholson ruled Colella was mentally incompetent at the time and fixed a lifetime supervision order.

He will assess psychiatric reports at a later hearing to determine whether Colella should remain in the community.

The court heard Colella was suffering from a major depressive disorder with psychotic features when she attacked her husband.

Colella's lawyer Stephen Ey said his client's mental health treatment had been successful since the attack.

Court heard Colella was suffering a major depressive disorder when she attacked her husband. Photo: AAP

Mr Ey applied to have Colella's bail conditions changed so she no longer had to wear a monitoring bracelet on her ankle, saying it was embarrassing for her and uncomfortable in the summer heat.

But the judge declined, saying he did not have enough information on Colella's current mental state despite considering her a low risk of reoffending.

Colella will face court again on February 25.