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'Voices' told mother to kill five-year-old son

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'Voices' told mother to kill five-year-old son
The apartment block where the boy was killed. File photo: APA
14:22 CET+01:00
A 25-year-old Viennese woman who killed her five-year-old son in July, saying that she heard voices from the TV telling her to do so, has been ruled as unfit to stand trial by Vienna's criminal court and is being treated in an institution for mentally ill offenders.

Psychiatric expert Karl Dantendorfer told the court that at the time of the murder the young woman was severely mentally disturbed and therefore cannot be held criminally responsible. She suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

The woman had been treated in the Otto Wagner psychiatric hospital for a few days in 2014 and had been prescribed medication. However, she had not continued to take it. "She had no control over her actions. She was completely removed from reality," Dantendorfer said.

The woman murdered her son in their apartment in Favoriten. After they had had breakfast and taken a walk together she gave him some sleeping pills to sedate him, and then suffocated him with a pillow.

"The television spoke to me," she told detectives after her arrest. She said she had "a strange feeling, as if I were God" and "felt powerful." She had believed that her child was "evil" and that she "had to kill him".

The coroner said that the high dose of sleeping medication she gave her son would have killed an adult.

She was found two days after the murder wandering in a confused state in Kahlenberg, near the Vienna Woods.

She confessed to the two policemen who found her that she had killed her son, and told them she had been staying in a Bed and Breakfast for the past two days.

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