A Fairy Meadow man who stabbed his father 20 times then turned the knife on himself while in a "deranged" state has been found not guilty of intentionally wounding the older man on the grounds of severe mental illness.
Wollongong District Court judge Andrew Haesler found David Delaney was suffering from long-standing, treatment-resistant schizophrenia and was in the midst of an "acute and overwhelming" psychotic episode when he attacked his father, John Delaney, at the door of a Daisy Street apartment on November 30 last year.
In a published judgement on the case, Judge Haesler said John had gone to David's apartment to deliver groceries but was stabbed almost as soon as David opened the door.
John screamed "David it's me, your Dad", punched his son and eventually broke free and ran downstairs to where his wife waited in the car.
She drove him to Wollongong Hospital where he underwent surgery.
The court heard John had more than 20 lacerations on his chest, shoulders, neck, face, hand and upper arm.
Meanwhile, after his father left, David stabbed himself in the chest.
A neighbour called emergency services and David was taken to hospital in a serious condition where he was placed in an induced coma.
Police initially believed David had been the victim of the assault but the true situation came to light and David was subsequently arrested and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
David subsequently pleaded not guilty to the charge on the grounds of mental illness.
A psychiatric report tendered during David's legal proceedings found the 42-year-old suffered from a "relatively severe, chronic and treatment resistant schizophrenic illness", which was "characterised by recurrent episodes of paranoid delusions, auditory hallucinations; including multiple commanding voices, mood disturbance and bizarre behaviour."
Psychiatrist Dr Richard Furst concluded that at the time of the stabbing, David's condition made him unable to reason and "appreciate the wrongness of his actions".
"He felt he had no choice but to listen to the voices in his head and was accordingly devoid of the capacity for logical or moral reasoning," Judge Haesler said in summing up Dr Furst's findings.
"He was essentially deranged."
As a result of the not guilty verdict, David will remain in the care of Corrective Services indefinitely and have his case monitored by the Mental Health Review Tribunal, which cannot release him until such time as he no longer presents a serious danger to himself or the community.