How a horrible childhood drove would-be mother killer
FIVE days before his 18th birthday, a Rockhampton teen attempted to murder his mother in a "reprehensive, odious and heinous" attack, leaving her with 16 lacerations and skull fractures.
That teen, Dwayne*, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton yesterday to one count of attempted murder.
The court heard Dwayne had been diagnosed by psychiatrists with drug induced psychosis disorder in April 2016 after being fed illicit drugs by his drug dealing mother since he was 12 years old and she, knowing the diagnosis, continued to feed him marijuana and crystal methamphetamines - even on the day of the attempted murder.
A child and adolescent forensic psychiatrist, who wrote a five-page background report about Dwayne which was tabled in court, said Dwayne was a high risk of recidivism after release from custody due to relapse into drug use which would bring back on the drug-induced psychosis and violence.
However, Dwayne had glowing reports from staff at the detention centre where he was held on remand for 568 days and he was now classified as having his drug-induced psychosis in remission.
Justice Graeme Crow said Dwayne's "extremely prejudicial" background was one of the worst he had ever seen.
It included Dwayne and his siblings growing up with his mother peddling drugs in her bedroom while the children sat in the loungeroom, being left alone for up to two weeks at a time with no food, Dwayne's dad leaving the family when Dwayne was three and then dying from a drug overdose in 2016, along with Dwayne and his siblings being taken into Child Safety Department care and Dwayne spending 3.5 years in foster care.
"Many would say you never had a chance," Justice Crow said.
"It must have been abundantly clear to everyone in his life he had significant struggles with mental health."
Dwayne was taken to Rockhampton Hospital many times due to mental health matters, including an attempted suicide which he said he did so he wouldn't harm others.
At 16 he was assessed after his mother reported he had suddenly attacked his own brother, something she said was out of character for Dwayne.
That was when Dwayne self reported he was using meth twice a day and had been using meth and marijuana since 2015.
In March 2016, Dwayne was assessed again after his mother reported psychotic behaviour including accusing her of not being his mother and wanting a DNA test.
Dwayne was medicated, but his symptoms persisted and his medication was increased before he was diagnosed with drug induced psychosis.
In July 2016, Dwayne presented with auditory hallucinations, hallucinations involving "evil spirits" and social withdrawal.
His doctor thought he may be forming schizophrenia, but it was not deemed serious enough for Dwayne to be placed on a treatment order.
The day before the attempted murder, Dwayne's mother told him she was going to spoil him for his birthday.
Justice Crow said Dwayne's family environment was to give children illicit drugs for their birthdays.
On the day of the attempted murder, Dwayne woke up to find a pipe full of crystal meth next to his bed and a plate with marijuana on it.
He continued using meth throughout the day sourced from his mother.
Dwayne's mother visited her children who were in the care of the Child Safety Department and shortly afterwards, spotted Dwayne in East St.
Dwayne went home with her to a Park Avenue residence where a male visited in her bedroom and left about 10pm.
"A short time later, you attempted to force your way through your mother's door," Justice Crow said.
He said Dwayne was yelling something along the lines of "you slept with him".
The court heard Dwayne's mother let him in the bedroom and attempted to calm him down.
They were both sitting on the bed when attacked her, causing lacerations to her head, chest, back and arms as she called out "Stop, stop! You are going to kill me".
Dwayne threw his mother's head against a wall with such force, her skull cracked.
Police were called after a neighbour saw a blood drenched Dwayne through a window punching the floor.
Police had to force their way into the residence to find Dwayne holding a knife, which he dropped upon request.
Dwayne's blood soaked, injured 36-year-old mother made her way down the stairs before passing out.
She had 10cm lacerations to her left shoulder and chest, 7cm laceration to her left shoulder, and other shorter lacerations to the back of her neck, right upper back, left wrist, elbow and head.
Her lung collapsed due to air entering the left chest cavity from the wounds.
A doctor's report said her wounds were life threatening if left untreated.
She ended up with 300 stitches and staples from two surgeries.
Justice Crow said Dwayne was telling police he had got inside his mother's mind and there were "7000 people coming".
The court heard Dwayne said he had read his mother's mind that she planned to kill him so he had to kill her, but he didn't want to.
Justice Crow described the attack as "reprehensive, odious and heinous" but took into consideration the rehabilitation efforts of Dwayne while in custody and the glowing references from detention centre and hospital staff who had dealt with him since he was into custody.
He said Dwayne's 568 days in pre-sentence custody were probably the most stable part of his life to date.
Justice Crow ordered Dwayne to 7.5 years prison with parole eligibility on February 15, 2021.
Dwayne's mother, who was in court with a new baby, tried to get her son's attention while he was in the dock prior to court proceedings. He ignored many of her attempts and turned his head once to acknowledge her presence.
While body worn footage of first responding police officers was played on court screens to the lawyers, Justice Crow and Dwayne, the defendant sat with his arms crossed, head lowered and away from the bloody scene on the screen.
Note: The Morning Bulletin cannot name the offender due to legal reasons.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.