Woman who decapitated her mother found not guilty of murder

A Sydney horror film fan has been found not guilty of murdering her mother, who she then decapitated, due to her mental disorders.

Jessica Camilleri, 27, stabbed her mother Rita at least 100 times after an argument before taking her mother's head from the kitchen of their St Clair home and placing it on a footpath outside.

NSW Police establish a crime scene at a home at St Clair in Sydney, in 2019.
The crime scene where Rita Camilleri was killed in 2019. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

After two days of deliberations, a NSW Supreme Court jury on Thursday afternoon found her not guilty of murder over the July 2019 death.

She was instead found guilty of manslaughter due to a partial defence of substantial impairment by abnormality of the mind that caused a loss of control.

Two forensic psychiatrists had told the trial the woman was suffering from a substantial impairment of the mind at the time of the frenzied knife attack in July 2019.

Jessica Camilleri and her mother, Rita, who was decapitated last year.
Rita Camilleri (right) died in the attack at the hands of her daughter, Jessica (left). Source: Facebook

Both diagnosed her with an intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder that features a fixation on horror films, though only one attributed the loss of control to the mixture of those conditions.

The other expert said an intermittent explosive disorder had a significant role to play.

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