A father accused of stabbing his five-year-old son to death because he thought he was the devil has been found not guilty of murder due to mental illness.

Acting Justice Peter Hidden said on Wednesday he was satisfied the 38-year-old man, who suffers from schizophrenia and can’t be named for legal reasons, had stabbed his son in the midst of a psychotic episode and he didn’t realise what he was doing was wrong.

The NSW Supreme Court judge said the defence of mental illness had been made out.

The court heard the father stabbed his son 76 times on the morning of July 8, 2018, in their Sydney home after the boy’s mother and grandmother had left the house.

Public Outrage

After the report was shared on the 7news Facebook page the public response was one of total shock and disgust at the ruling.

Many will never understand how the system can fail such an innocent victim.

Comments include:

“There’s no justice for children living in Australia it’s shocking child abusers and killers walk free in less than 4 years”

“If it was a dog that killed someone I’m sure that dog would’ve been put down so what’s the different between a human that has mental health issues or just a dog without a brain killing someone”

“This wouldn’t have happened if our system wasn’t broken and he was given the care he needed.”

“Justice System needs to be investigated so wrong in so many ways”

“WTF! So the health system is to blame as is FACS for not protecting the child”

“He should be held accountable for his actions regardless of his mental state”

“OMG what is wrong with our legal system!”

“The law failed this poor kid. Disgusting!”

Further details to come…

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  • Heartbreaking for the poor child and family. More needs to be done to stop these things happening.


  • Is this a suprise anymore no one is ever guilty. Life doesn’t mean you do life. People get longer for fraud


  • Such a shocking tragedy! Regardless of mental illness, this man needs to be locked up for good to prevent such a thing happening again!


  • Being a psychiatric nurse myself I agree that in a schizophrenic psychotic episode this person shouldn’t be held accountable. This man is probably going to feel guilty and horrible for this act for the rest of his life, that is nearly unbearable and punishment enough


  • The poor child that is such a horrible thing. Hopefully the man will get the help he needs as in life in a mental health facility


  • This poor child deserves justice


  • There has to be more to this story. Hopefully we will find out.


  • This is so wrong. He did the crime, so he should do time.
    However, i do feel sorry for the family..


  • As someone who has witnessed two extended family members with schizophrenia, I can understand completely that this person would not have been in control. Sadly, I have seen the effects of schizophrenia regardless of medication. But I do still believe the father must be held responsible for the actions anyway. Regardless of his guilt, it is something that could happen again, and I believe people like that, should be very closely monitored.


  • I’m so sick of people taking the metal illness route and getting a slap on the wrist rather than a real consequence.


  • I hope he was forced to enter a lock down mental health facility for what would have been a gaol sentence. A person has to ask for help of his/her own accord according to a d. we consulted when we had concerns about a relative who was one of his patients who was violent at times.


  • I don’t imagine this was an easy decision. Perhaps he will be found guilty of manslaughter.


  • Right mind or not, and yes mental illness can be truly hard and horrid, he needs to be held accountable for this little boy’s life. As there’s more details to come I’m assuming, and hoping, we’ll find out that even though he ‘walked free’ it was into an institution that will fiercely restrict him, and hopefully do something to control his uncontrollable moments.


  • Oh wow. This is no justice at all. That child died in a terrible way. I can’t believe he was found not guilty!!!


  • I think its time to look at introducing a guilty verdict for mental imparement. Just because someone isn’t in their right mind when they do something doesn’t mean they shouldn’t acknowledge what they’ve done.


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