Woman sentenced to 21 years 7 months for decapitation of her mother

Rita Camilleri, 57, and her daughter, Jessica Camilleri, 27, of St Clair, New South Wales. [Image credit: The Sydney Morning Herald]


27-year-old Jessica Camilleri has been sentenced to 21 years 7 months in prison for the brutal 2019 slaughter of her mother. Her trial began back in December.


The court heard that the attack involved seven different knives, four of which broke during and resulted in more than 100 stab wounds. Justice Helen Wilson could only describe the attack on 57-year-old Rita Camilleri as "a crime of extraordinary viciousness and brutality" as she handed down the sentence.


Camilleri was cleared of the murder charge she faced due to the mental health diagnoses she had received which included autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, a mild intellectual disability and intermittent explosive disorder.


For at least the three months leading up to the killing of Rita, Camilleri had refused all treatment and medications prescribed to her.


Despite the judge and jury agreeing that Camilleri was "substantially impaired" due to the number of conditions, there was no disagreement that she still knew that what she was doing was wrong. She was therefore found guilty of manslaughter in December; one of the "most serious instances of manslaughter it is possible ...to conjure," Wilson said.


The maximum possible sentence Wilson could hand down was 21 years 7 months. Camilleri will not be eligible for parole until she serves at least 16 years 2 months of that sentence making her earliest possible date of release September 19, 2035.



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