Sydney court hears Jessica Camilleri prone to ‘rage attacks’, living with complex mental illness before alleged decapitation murder


A Western Sydney woman who allegedly decapitated her mother explosively lashed out in “rage attacks” as part of complex mental disorders, a court has heard.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.

Forensic psychiatrist David Greenberg described Jessica Camilleri as “a very complex mental picture”, with multiple primary diagnoses complicated by associated features, such as narcissism.

The 27-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murdering her mother, 57-year-old Rita Camilleri, by repeatedly stabbing her and cutting off her head with knives in a St Clair home last July.

Mental illness is at the centre of Ms Camilleri’s defence and the jury was asked to consider whether the charge should be reduced to manslaughter.

“There’s no one disorder that describes her,” Professor Greenberg told the NSW Supreme Court today.

After two examinations, he considered her primary diagnoses were intellectual disability disorder, autistic spectrum disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder.

Rita Camilleri was killed in her St Clair home last July.(Supplied)

Ms Camilleri was bullied for nearly her entire school life and learned to deal with her problems through targeted aggression, he said.

“When she reportedly lashes out, she loses control as part of her intermittent explosive disorder,” Professor Greenberg told the jury.

“She is prone to explosive outbursts where there is a failure to control impulsive aggressive behaviour.”

Such outbursts were “anger-based rather than pre-meditated and instrumental”, he added.

Professor Greenberg said Ms Camilleri could be provoked by something as simple as a stranger looking at her the wrong way.

But he said if anyone touched her or did anything physical, she would “lose all control”.

“You could say it’s like a rage attack, but in the explosive extreme form.”

Ms Camilleri had an “unreasonable expectation of favourable treatment”, “a history of demanding attention” and “poor self-esteem [but] a sense of entitlement”, the jury heard.

The defendant’s disorders caused repetitive, fixated interests, according to the professor.

Professor Greenberg also described how multiple conditions may have contributed to Ms Camilleri’s behaviour on the night of her mother’s death.

“I’m of the opinion that at the time of the incident, she likely had the capacity to understand the events and judge whether her actions were right or wrong,” he told the court.

“However, I’m of the opinion that based on the comorbid psychiatric diagnoses … her capacity to control herself was substantially impaired by her abnormality of mind arising from her underlying conditions.”

The court previously heard Ms Camilleri had a fascination with horror movies and would repeatedly watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

During one of her interviews with Professor Greenberg, she admitted her macabre act of beheading her mother was inspired by such films.

She would also spend hours a day prank calling strangers and making threats of extreme violence against them, which Professor Greenberg believed was another fixated interest.

Two tests have previously measured Ms Camilleri’s IQ as 64 and then 55, which Professor Greenberg said placed her “in the lowest one per cent of the population in terms of her cognitive capacity”.

The court has heard she stopped taking psychiatric medication six months before the incident in favour of seeking natural alternatives.

The trial, before Justice Helen Wilson, continues.



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Jessica Camilleri made threatening calls to business before alleged decapitation murder of mother, court told


A Sydney mother who was allegedly decapitated by her daughter was “at her wits’ end” and didn’t know how to control her, a jury has heard.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.

Jessica Camilleri, 27, is on trial for the murder of her mother Rita, 57, at their Western Sydney home last July and has pleaded not guilty.

The jury today heard of Ms Camilleri’s tendency to make relentless prank phone calls to strangers, which often included threats of extreme violence.

She targeted employees of a Victorian business after finding mobile phone numbers online, the NSW Supreme Court was told.

According to its boss, Matthew Layfield, Rita Camilleri began to intervene after about two months and rang to apologise, advising she was trying to confiscate phones she found in her daughter’s bedroom.

The calls, which numbered more than 100 a day and included threats to behead the recipient with a knife or chainsaw and “flush their head down the toilet” continued on and off for a year.

Jessica Camilleri is accused of murdering her mother.(Facebook)

In a statement, Mr Layfield said he called Rita Camilleri and told her things were “getting out of hand” once his family members were also targeted.

Rita Camilleri replied by saying “I’m at my wit’s end” and that she “did not know what to do to control her daughter”, the court heard.

Mr Layfield said the calls would begin with Ms Camilleri apologising for calling so much and telling the recipient she was “not very well” and was trying to get help.

But the conversation would “turn ugly” when the target attempted to end the conversation, he said.

Camilleri told psychiatrist she was ‘in a fit of rage’

Forensic psychiatrist David Greenberg described Ms Camilleri as “childlike”, “naive” and “mildly anxious” during his two examinations of her.

“She was loquacious, over-inclusive and circumstantial in her thoughts,” Professor Greenberg told the court.

Ms Camilleri gave an account of the night of the incident to the psychiatrist which contradicted what she told police, namely that her mother had not attacked her first.

She gave a detailed and gruesome description of her actions, and told Professor Greenberg she got the ideas from horror movies.

“I know people will think I’m sick,” Ms Camilleri said, according to the psychiatrist’s report.

“I thought, ‘I’ll put her out of her pain’.”

Ms Camilleri told Professor Greenberg she was “in a fit of rage”.

“I was so agitated and frustrated, because I was thinking sick thoughts.”

The court has previously heard Rita Camilleri felt “let down” by psychiatrists and support services, and was “exhausted” from being her daughter’s sole carer.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Sergeant Grant Gilbert, said during a search of the family’s St Clair home police found eight DVD copies of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and five of Jeepers Creepers.

Ms Camilleri’s legal team is arguing mental illness as a partial defence.

The jury has seen videos of Ms Camilleri speaking with police on the night of the incident, repeatedly claiming her mother attacked her first.

The trial, before justice Helen Wilson, continues.



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Coogee murder: Kimberley McRae’s alleged killer ‘so sad’ about what happened


An international student who allegedly killed a Sydney sex worker before fleeing the country had previously served in his home nation’s navy and army. 

Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia, 21, returned to Australia last week to face a charge of murdering Kimberley McRae, 69, in her apartment in Coogee on January 8, 2020. 

Ms McRae’s body was eventually discovered on January 14 by which stage Valencia had allegedly fled to Aruba, a small island in the Caribbean, where his mother lives. 

After being provided with intelligence by NSW Police officers, local authorities were able to arrest Valencia and hold him in custody for nine months until his extradition – which was delayed because of COVID-19

His mother Gabriela has now told Daily Mail Australia of her shock at her son’s arrest, saying he was always ‘caring’ for others and volunteering for not-for-profit groups.

Ms Valencia also revealed he had completed his mandatory service in the Colombian military, before being discharged with ‘excellent’ reviews from his commanders. 

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Gabriela Valencia (left) the mother of student Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia (right) who is charged with murdering a Sydney sex worker said he was ‘so sad’ that his trip of a lifetime had ended with him behind bars

Valencia, 21, is charged with murdering Kimberley McRae, 69, (pictured) at her apartment in Coogee, in Sydney's east, on January 8. NSW Police only discovered her body six days later

Valencia, 21, is charged with murdering Kimberley McRae, 69, (pictured) at her apartment in Coogee, in Sydney’s east, on January 8. NSW Police only discovered her body six days later

Ms Valencia said her son had arrived in Australia in the hope of ‘progressing’ his life.

She said he was a regular volunteer with environmental groups and the Red Cross, a top diving instructor, karate competitor and had completed his military service.

While in Australia he completed an English language course at the University of New South Wales before taking up further studies at a business college in Surry Hills.  

‘I am a mother, (the) head of a family, a working woman. I am not wealthy, but with a lot of love and effort I supported my son to fulfill his dream, to study and progress in Australia,’ Ms Valencia said.

‘Two years ago he did his military service in the Colombian Navy which he came out of with excellent behaviour. At the end of his military service he made preparations for his trip to Australia. 

‘It is a country that we have like a lot and it always caught our attention.

‘He is a young man who shares what he has with others and as a son he has been very affectionate and always attentive to me. We have a very good relationship. 

‘He was a Red Cross volunteer and has been apart of groups of people who worry about caring for the environment.

‘Enrique has my full support. Since he was a little boy he has (cared for) homeless animals, (been) concerned about improving and caring for the environment.

Ms Valencia said she had spoken to her son before his extradition and he remained ‘so sad’ that his trip of a lifetime ended with him in custody and on a murder charge. 

‘We spoke last Friday. He was still here in Aruba,’ Ms Valencia said.

‘(The last time I saw him was) on Saturday when the police officers were waiting for him at the airport. 

Valencia had done his mandatory military service in both the navy and army

His mother said he received 'excellent' reviews from his commanders

Valencia had done his mandatory military service in both the navy and army, which his mother said saw him receive ‘excellent’ reviews from his commanders

Valencia had come to Australia to 'progress' his life, his mother said, and had studied at both the University of New South Wales and a business college in Surry Hills

Valencia had come to Australia to ‘progress’ his life, his mother said, and had studied at both the University of New South Wales and a business college in Surry Hills 

Valencia (left) is pictured in a lighthearted photo receiving a certificate of graduation from an English language course at UNSW

Valencia (left) is pictured in a lighthearted photo receiving a certificate of graduation from an English language course at UNSW

Valencia briefly faced Central Local Court on Thursday via video link, where he did not apply for bail and was ordered to reappear in court on January 19, 2021.

Ms McRae was well known in the local area and was regularly seen walking the streets of Coogee for exercise

Ms McRae was well known in the local area and was regularly seen walking the streets of Coogee for exercise

His mother said she was planning to speak to him for the first time since he arrived in Australia next Tuesday.

The prolonged situation with Valencia has also taken a toll on Ms McRae’s family.

Her twin sister Karen – who is believed to have been the one to raise the alarm when Ms McRae could not be contacted – said it had been an ‘incredibly difficult’ time and commended NSW Police for their efforts to seek justice during a global pandemic. 

‘It is incredibly difficult to express in words what our family has been through since Kimberley’s death,’ Karen McRae said. 

‘Kimberley was a cherished member of our family with a unique and vivacious personality. We grieve daily for Kimberley and are still struggling to comprehend that we will never see her again.’

Police believe Valencia met Ms McRae for the purposes of sex, but it is not known if it was the first time the pair had interacted.  

Pictured is the unit block on Mount Street, Coogee, where Ms McRae lived and where her body was found

Pictured is the unit block on Mount Street, Coogee, where Ms McRae lived and where her body was found

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Alleged underpayments land fast food outlet in Court


The operators of a Queensland fast food business are set to face the Federal Circuit Court for the alleged underpayment of a former employee.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking action against Riddhi Siddhi Pty Ltd, the operator of a fast food outlet trading as Vege Rama and an associated commercial kitchen in Brisbane, along with its director Ruchika Sharma.

It is alleged that the outlet underpaid the employee compared to their entitlements under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010. The employee, a visa holder from Nepal, aged in his 20s at the time of the alleged underpayment, worked as a kitchenhand on a casual basis at the commercial kitchen from April 2018 to August 2019, working between 50 and 60 hours per week.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements as a result of an investigation but the company has yet to comply with the notice.

It is also alleged the company provided false and misleading records and payslips to Fair Work Inspectors, incorrectly showing the hours worked by the employee and the employee being paid above award wages. Sharma is alleged to be directly involved in these contraventions.

The FWO is seeking penalties against Riddhi Siddhi and Sharma of up to $31,500 and $6300 respectively. For each of the contraventions concerning false records and payslips, the company and Sharma face possible maximum penalties of up to $63,000 and $12,600 respectively.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing has been set for 12 February 2021.





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Woman faces court over alleged attack of nurse, cop


A GRAFTON woman charged with attacking two people while seeking medical treatment in Lismore Base Hospital has had her charges dismissed.

The 22-year-old woman was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, resisting an officer in execution of duty, two counts of assaulting an officer in execution of duty and common assault.

Police alleged the woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was being treated in the hospital after she overdosed on her medication.

The court was told the woman had allegedly assaulted a nurse while being treated in early September and then when police were called, she attacked one of the arresting officers.

 

Lismore Base Hospital in Lismore.

 

When her matter was mentioned before Lismore Local Court on Monday, her solicitor, Hannah Donaldson, said her client didn’t have a criminal history and her behaviour during the incident was very out of character.

Ms Donaldson asked for her client to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

Magistrate Jeff Linden said while the woman’s actions were on the “bottom end of the spectrum” in terms of how serious the injuries were, attacks on hospital staff were increasing in frequency.

However, he agreed to deal with the matter under the Act.

The woman’s charges were dismissed on the condition she complies with a community treatment order.





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NSW Police plea to find blue Lamborghini driver for alleged speeding


An alleged Lamborghini hoon seen speeding through a Sydney suburb is being hunted by police.

Footage shows a blue Lamborghini allegedly speeding down Roberts Road in Telopea in Sydney’s north west about 8.45am on Saturday.

The force is seeking public help to identify the driver after the incident was reported to the Cumberland Police Area Command.

The vehicle has dark tinted windows and bears black and white registration plates.

Investigations are continuing and anyone with information should contact Cumberland Police on (02) 98974199 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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Woman charged over alleged bushfire and COVID-19 assistance fraud – Hunter Valley – 16 News


A woman will face court today after being charged with alleged fraud regarding bushfire and COVID-19 support recovery grants.

Strike Force Roche was established by several police districts within the Northern Region to investigate alleged fraudulent claims for bushfire disaster relief and small business grants through government agencies.

Police will allege in court that, between Thursday 12 March and Sunday 13 September 2020, a woman, aged 31, fraudulently applied for 34 combined Bushfire and COVID-19 Government Grants. A total of 11 were granted and the woman received $104,000.

Police will also allege the woman attempted to obtain a further $258,000 in grants which she was not entitled to.

Following extensive inquiries, police attended a home in Aberdare about 1.20pm yesterday (Friday 27 November 2020), where they arrested the woman.

She was taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial benefit by deception (x16).

She was refused bail and will appear in Newcastle Local Court today (Saturday 28 November 2020).

Investigations under the strike force are ongoing across multiple police districts in the Northern Region.



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South Korean computer ‘geek’ bailed over alleged $360,000 theft from elderly Canberra woman


A South Korean visitor to Australia has been freed on bail despite concerns from ACT police that he will try to flee the country while facing 27 charges of fraud.

Byung Uk Cho, 27, was arrested last month by police at Sydney Airport for allegedly stealing more than $360,000 from an 89-year-old Canberra woman while fixing her computer.

Mr Cho, whose working holiday visa has now expired, had been under police investigation since March when the woman found suspicious transactions in her bank account.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Byung Uk Cho is accused of stealing $360,000 from a Canberra woman last year.(LinkedIn)

Mr Cho today applied for bail for a second time in the ACT Magistrates Court, where his lawyer revealed his client had handed the money back to police.

“Last time my client applied for bail the court was concerned if released, he would put those funds beyond reach,” barrister Peter Berg told the court.

Magistrate James Lawton questioned how Mr Cho was pleading not guilty to all charges, since it was clear he had the missing money in his possession.

“What do I confer from the fact your client has just returned a large amount of money, coincidentally similar to the sum?” Mr Lawton asked Mr Berg.

But Mr Berg argued his client was given permission by the woman to invest the money and had not taken it without her consent.

“My client argues through friendship with victim he was going to invest for the woman and buy real estate investment in South Korea,” he told the court.

The prosecution argued that it made no sense for an elderly woman with no ties to South Korea to try and invest there with a man who came to fix her computer.

To that claim, Mr Berg responded that Mr Cho’s English was weak, and that there was a miscommunication with his alleged victim.

Mr Lawton replied: “Yet he was able to provide someone with advice on investments in Korea.”

Alleged thief granted bail with strict conditions

Three men walk outside an ACT court.
Peter Berg (left) argued his client intended to invest the money on the woman’s behalf.(ABC News: Selby Stewart)

Documents tendered to the court detailed how in 2019 the alleged victim engaged a computer repair company called Geeks2u.

The prosecution alleged Mr Cho went to the woman’s home in Yarralumla, in Canberra’s inner south, and removed her computer, before money — largely left to her after the death of her husband — began leaking from the woman’s online bank account.

Mr Cho was arrested by police last month trying to board a flight back to South Korea.

During today’s bail hearing, the prosecutor argued Mr Cho was a flight risk because he had already tried once to leave the country.

The court also heard Mr Cho had been called for military service in South Korea, and if he did not comply he could be jailed.

“I note that the defendant had, by his own admission, had attempted to leave Australia to undergo mandatory national service,” prosecutor Isabella Coker said.

“The victim is 89, she is incredibly vulnerable, he is aware of where she lives, and the defendant took advantage of her age to commit these offences.

In the end Mr Cho was granted bail on the conditions he report to police daily, remain in the ACT, does not go within 100 metres of an international departure point and does not apply for a new passport.

The case will return to court in February.



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Jack de Belin trial: Alleged victim too traumatised to remember seeing housemate


The woman who has accused NRL star Jack de Belin of sexual assault was too traumatised to remember a man standing at the door shortly before the alleged attack, a jury has been told.

The three-and-a-half week trial of Mr de Belin, 29, and his co-accused Callan Sinclair, 23, is expected to conclude on Wednesday with the jury to then retire to consider its verdict.

During his closing arguments on Tuesday, crown prosecutor David Scully told the Wollongong District Court that the jury should give little weight to the evidence of Troy Martin.

Mr Martin told the court during the trial that he briefly saw Mr de Belin and the woman, who cannot be named, naked in the bedroom of a North Wollongong apartment in the early hours of December 9, 2018.

Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair have pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault relating to the alleged attack of the woman inside the townhouse, which belonged to the St George Illawarra forward’s cousin Jake Lewis.



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Woman texted Jarryd Hayne after alleged rape: ‘I’m hurting so bad’


The woman who has accused former NRL player Jarryd Hayne of rape says she just “wanted to meet him” and hoped it would “turn into something”.

But the 26-year-old woman told the jury in his District Court trial she said no to the sexual acts that occurred inside her Newcastle bedroom in 2018.

The jury was told Hayne had been in the area for a buck’s weekend for former teammate Kevin Naiqama.

Jarryd Hayne has pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual intercourse without consent. (AAP)

He had paid $550 for a taxi to drive him back to Sydney and asked the driver to stop on the way.

After spending some time in her bedroom, the driver knocked on the door and Hayne went outside to speak to her.

“My heart dropped kinda thing because I thought he had only come there for one thing,” the woman said.

She said she told her mother as much and that she wasn’t interested.

“There was no way in hell I was going to touch him. I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad,” she said.

“I think the whole time in my mind I thought this could one day turn into something.”

But back in the bedroom Hayne is accused of forcing himself on the woman, leaving her with an injury that bled.

“I’m not sure whether he bit me, or cut me, or whatever the hell he did. But I was saying don’t, no I don’t want to, and then I was bleeding everywhere.”

The court was shown a graphic video she took of her bed showing the blood she had lost.

In the hour after he left she sent Hayne two text messages.

“I am hurting so much,” one read.

“I know I have talked about sex and stuff so much but I didn’t want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you … I’m sitting in my room crying because I feel so weird,” the second read.

The court heard she received only one response which said “go doctor tomorrow”.

Hayne has pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated by the injury.

Hayne’s barrister Phillip Boulten told the court her messages to Hayne in the days before had been “explicit” and they both intended to have sex.

“Nothing in that room was done against her will,” Mr Boulten said.

“They both intended to have sex.

“It was not going to be romantic but it was going to be sexual.”

He told the jury unfortunately Hayne must have scratched her during the encounter.

But the woman told the court she didn’t plan for that to happen.

“I pretty much just wanted to meet him in person, I didn’t have any plans for what we would do or what would happen,” she said.

Hayne will give evidence later in the trial.



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