A woman who killed her son in south Nicosia last year has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, after a doctor who testified in court presented new evidence during a manslaughter trial.
According to local media, a Nicosia criminal court has determined that a 41-year-old woman from Kazakhstan, described as a Russian national, was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when she stabbed her 12-year-old son as he was sleeping in their apartment in Geri, south Nicosia, in late August 2019.
Her husband, described as a Greek Cypriot police officer who was also the step father of the boy, reportedly found the boy lying dead in his own bed with a stab wound in the neck and chest injuries.
Reports said the woman was also found in a pool of blood on the floor in the entrance hall of her apartment, with police investigators saying she had attempted to commit suicide.
But according to additional details heard in court, the husband had seen his wife about a month prior to the incident walking in her son’s room holding a knife.
'We cannot understand how paranoid schizophrenia had gone unnoticed when she was examined a month prior, while it was so obvious to doctors who examined her immediately after the incident'
The judges on the panel noted an incident in late July, saying that the mental disorder of the mother was not part of a diagnosis when she was examined by a psychiatrist.
“We cannot understand how paranoid schizophrenia had gone unnoticed when she was examined on 26 July 2019, a month prior to the offence, while it was evidently so obvious to doctors who examined her immediately after the incident,” the judges said.
The court also heard that, according to the husband, the woman had expressed a desire to commit suicide a month earlier.
However, it was understood that it was never clarified in court whether the psychiatrist who examined the woman in July had been told about any suicide comments at the time.
“Sadly the woman remained home alone with the victim while the risks associated with schizophrenia, coupled with the expressed desire to end her life, posed danger to her child but also herself,” the judges said.
According to local media, the husband never confronted his wife about seeing her entering the boy’s bedroom while holding a knife in late July, fearing that his comments might plant ideas in her head.
But reports said the husband acknowledged such behaviour was “not normal” and he was concerned something bad might happen. Unconfirmed reports last year said he had previously hidden away knives in the home out of fear his wife might act on some thoughts relating to her son’s wellbeing.
The woman, who did not take the stand or made a sworn statement, gave a written statement which was accepted as evidence by the court.
“I thought it was best if we both died together”
“I thought it was best if we both died together,” the woman said in her statement.
The judges found the woman not guilty by reason of insanity, relying heavily on the second doctor’s diagnosis after the incident.
According to the diagnosis, the woman did not have full real-time knowkldege of her actions at the time she was committing the offence, with the judges ruling that she could not be held responsible for her son’s death.
The woman has been ordered to undergo continuous psychiatric treatment.