Australian mother won’t stand trial for killing 8 children

Australian mother won't stand trial for killing 8 children

BRISBANE, Australia — A mother who stabbed to death her seven children and a niece in northern Australia in 2014 will not stand trial for murder because she was suffering cannabis-induced schizophrenia when she lost control, according to a court judgment released Thursday.

Raina Thaiday stabbed herself 35 times after killing the children, aged 2 to 14 years, at her home in Cairns on Dec. 19, a month after her delusions began.

The Queensland state Mental Health Court ruled a month ago that Thaiday, then 37, had been of “unsound mind” when the children were slain. State law kept the ruling from being made public until Thursday.

She will be held indefinitely in a high-security ward of a psychiatric hospital in the state capital Brisbane and will not be allowed to leave the hospital grounds unescorted.

Thaiday, also known as Mersane Warria, had been smoking up to 20 cones of marijuana a day when she developed severe schizophrenia in late 2014, the court heard.

Justice Jean Dalton said there was convincing evidence that Thaiday suffered a psychotic episode and had no capacity to control or understand her actions.

“Her children were the things that had given her the most happiness in life,” Dalton said.

Thaiday remained psychotic until July 2015 and has had two relapses, once at the two-year anniversary of the deaths, and has expressed a desire to kill her fellow patients, the court heard.

Several psychiatrists agreed her lifelong abuse of cannabis triggered her schizophrenia.

The house where the children died was demolished and replaced with eight trees in their honour.

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

ALBERNI GOLF: Van Lent gets hole in one

Next Sunday, Oct. 4 will be the windup for Sunday morning golf for this crazy year of 2020

EDITORIAL: Election forces change, uncertainty for Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding

The Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding is heading into a snap election at a time when we least need it.

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs prepare for unusual 2020-21 season

Questions remain about funding, fans in seats at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read