An “acutely psychotic” woman cut off her mother’s head, put it in a carrier bag and took it out at a friend’s allotment and kissed it, a jury has found.
Paranoid schizophrenic Odessa Carey, 36, was too unwell to enter a plea to a murder charge but following a trial of the facts, a jury found she killed her mother.
Newcastle Crown Court was told that the headless body of her her 73-year-old mother, also called Odessa, was found at the pensioner’s home in Ashington, Northumberland, last April.
The daughter was arrested after police found her hiding in the loft of a different house in Guide Post.
Her mother’s head was found under a sink by a police officer.
During the trial, Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said that the day before she was arrested, the daughter had visited the allotment of a friend of her late father and she had blood on her hands and arms when she turned up.
Mr Lumley said: “She had with her a bag, the contents of which she showed to the allotment holder.
“It was a human head. She kissed it. It can only have been her mother’s head.”
Mr Lumley said the allotment holder did not have a phone and did not contact police, but went to the pub and told someone what he had seen.
Someone else he had told contacted police the next day, and the daughter was tracked down and arrested.
After the jurors returned their findings, Judge Paul Sloan told them: “The evidence which I heard before you were empanelled confirms that the defendant is acutely psychotic.
“It is likely that a diagnosis is one of schizophrenia. She suffers from paranoid delusional beliefs.
“She doesn’t believe the body to be that of her mother.
“She is acutely unwell, so far all attempts to treat her have not been successful.”
The judge said he will dispose of the case on Thursday when the defendant, who is being treated at Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire, will be sentenced under the Mental Health Act.
The judge said: “The finding that you have returned does not lead to punishment, that would not be appropriate. What is appropriate is measures are put in place to continue efforts to treat her and also have measures in place to ensure public protection.”
It can now be reported that at a magistrates’ court hearing, Carey answered the murder charge by saying: “Not my mam, someone else.”
At the end of that hearing, she asked the magistrate: “Could it be investigated that my mam disappeared four years ago?”
Outside court, her family said: “Our mam will be sadly missed by all – her sons, daughter, her brothers and sisters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.
“Sadly she was taken from us in a horrific and vicious attack by our younger sister, who had suffered mental health issues for many years.
“Our mam was a loving, caring woman who would help anyone that needed it. She also loved to talk to anybody she met. She was taken from us too soon and had a lot more to give.
“We believe that the mental health system failed us and vast improvements need to be made.
“It is too late for our mam and sister, but hopefully they will learn from our tragic loss and stop others from going through the same heartbreak.
“Our wounds will never heal, and we will miss our mam every single day.”
It has emerged she received treatment from a young age for a variety of mental health issues and had stopped taking her medication in the weeks before the killing.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb, of Northumbria Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “This is a deeply distressing and disturbing case and I can’t even the imagine the pain and suffering the Carey family continue to go through.”