A man who spent his entire life living with undiagnosed schizophrenia will spend at least three years in jail after killing his mother while she slept.
Nathan Connors pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his 55-year-old mother, Lynda Connors, was discovered dead in her Sylvania home by her eldest son in May 2017.
The plea was based on his undiagnosed mental illness and a substantial impairment that impacted his decision making.
Nathan Connors (pictured) pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his 55-year-old mother, Lynda Connors, was discovered dead in her Sylvania home by her eldest son in May 2017
Barrister Sophia Beckett said despite an indication since at least 2011 that he was unwell, he’d never been physically violent or shown displays of violent tendencies in the past, the Canberra Times reported.
‘It was a very loving relationship and he appreciated she was his main support, his only support, at the time,’ she said.
In the lead up to the attack, in which Connors took a hammer to his mother while she was sleeping, the court heard he had been reading the Bible daily.
He had also been punching walls and hearing voices in his head, which allegedly told him ‘unidentified people would come and take his mother’s soul.’
Forensic psychiatrist Dr Andrew Ellis said Connors believed ‘if this occurred her soul would be trapped and she could never get to heaven.’
In the lead up to the attack, in which Connors took a hammer to his mother while she was sleeping, the court heard he had been reading the Bible daily and struggling with voices in his head
He alleges Connor believed he was doing the better thing for his mother, and couldn’t stand knowing his mother’s fate if she’d had her soul taken.
‘He believed the voice was a communication from God and part of his purpose as a prophet,’ the psychiatrist said.
‘He had been observing his mother at night to see if her soul was intact’.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme on Friday sentenced Connors to a total of five years and eight months in jail with a non-parole period of three years. He will be eligible for release in mid-May 2020.
At the sentencing, Justice Hulme said upon his release the 29-year-old would be returning to the community without the best support he had experienced in his life – his mother.
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