An Adelaide man who bashed a mother-of two to death believing it would reunite him with his parents who ‘lived on another planet’ will be held in mental health detention for life.
Jayden Lowah’s schizophrenia was entrenched when he randomly attacked 36-year-old Michelle Foster outside a Noarlunga shopping centre in October 2018, slamming her head into the ground.
The Supreme Court heard that the 22-year-old believed killing Ms Foster would reunite him with his parents who were ‘living on another planet’.
Lowah has suffered severe mental health problems since the age of 15, had previously planned to kill his father and attacked two strangers just six weeks before killing Ms Foster, the court previously heard.
‘It is his belief, within this delusional belief system, that he is living in a simulation which is controlled by those who he describes as his original parents who are said to occupy a planet somewhere outside the simulation,’ prosecutor Carmen Matteo told the court.
‘Part of his belief system is that he has been sent into the simulation with an alternate body and face but has maintained the same brain.’
Ms Matteo said Lowah also believed that by killing Ms Foster it would lead to a ‘supernatural event’ and that he would then ‘experience a good life’.
Following the incident with his father and two strangers, Lowah had warned doctors that he felt homicidal.
Doctors trusted Lowah to continue taking his antipsychotic medication, but now the severity of his condition had, at times, been misdiagnosed and blamed on drugs.
A victim impact statement was read out to the court from Ms Foster’s mother, Andrea, who said Lowah had ‘taken my baby away from me’.
‘Every day is torture. The pain will never go away,’ she said.
Outside court, Andrea, sympathised with Lowah saying the state’s mental health system failed him.
‘He told mental health workers he was going to kill – if that was not a red flag, what is?’ she asked outside the court, Adelaide Now reported.
‘When does the system stop and see he’s been like this since he was 15, that he wanted to kill his father, that he was going to kill somebody?
‘Since this man was a child he’s needed help, but nobody gave it and so he killed … someone didn’t do their job, and my child suffered because of that.’
Justice Sam Doyle subsequently found Lowah not guilty of the murder of Ms Foster because of mental incompetence and on Friday, and ordered he be held in mental health detention for life.
He said a psychiatric report indicated Lowah remained psychotic with delusional beliefs.