Woman who carried mums decapitated head in streets has prison sentence slashed

A woman who carried her decapitated mother's head through the streets after hacking at her "like a butcher" is set to be released from prison sooner than expected.

An autopsy revealed Jessica Camilleri, 25, inflicted "at least 100 stab wounds" on Rita Camilleri, 57, and used seven different knives during the gruesome attack in Sydney, Australia.

The court was told an argument began when Camilleri became displeased with a young relative being at the home where she lived with her mother on July 20, 2021.

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Things escalated after Camilleri was told she was suffering stomach problems and Rita insisted her daughter go to hospital. A brawl broke out when Rita tried calling an ambulance.

“She then used a number of kitchen knives to inflict ‘an indeterminate but very high number of knife blows at her mother’s head and neck, ultimately decapitating Mrs Camilleri at the C2 vertebra’,” police said.

At the time she told police she had acted in self-defence. She later admitted to a forensic psychologist she hacked at her mum "like a butcher" before twisting her head off.

In March 2021 she was sentenced to 21 years with a non-parole period of 16 years. She was initially found not guilty of murder and was instead sentenced to manslaughter owing to "substantial mental health issues".

These included ADHD and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Camilleri has now successfully appealed her sentence.

At Sydney Crown Court on Monday (May 15), Justice Peter Hamill ruled Camilleri should be resentenced despite dismissing claims the initial jail term was "manifestly excessive".

He said: "Objectively, the facts were gruesome and brutal and involved a frenzied attack on an innocent victim in her own home.

"On the other hand, the offence was spontaneous and the result of Camilleri losing control of herself because of her complex psychiatric illness.

"Her behaviour of walking into the street with her mother’s head and dropping it, as well as asking emergency services personnel whether they could reattach it, demonstrated the extent to which the applicant’s conduct was divorced from the real world."

He added she only had a "simple understanding" of right and wrong due to her intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder.

Justice Hamill ordered Camilleri be resentenced to 16 years in prison with a non-parole period of 12 years. She will now be eligible for parole from July 20, 2031.

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