Beheading accused: ‘Mum, I won’t hurt you’

WARNING: Graphic content

A Sydney woman accused of decapitating her own mother was once seen violently attacking a schoolgirl and pulling out clumps of the teen's hair, a neighbour has claimed.

Minutes afterwards, Jessica Camilleri is said to have looked at her hands in horror and asked "Did I really do that" before turning to reassure her mother, saying, "Don't worry mum, I won't ever hurt you."

Camilleri is not believed to have been charged in relation to the incident.

Jessica, 25, is now behind bars accused of cutting off her mother Rita's head inside the family home at St Clair before leaving it in a neighbour's front yard just before midnight on Saturday.

Jessica Camelleri has been charged with the murder of her mother.
Jessica Camelleri has been charged with the murder of her mother.

The former neighbour, Karen, told The Daily Telegraph she saw Jessica attack the schoolgirl four years ago in St Clair.

She told The Daily Telegraph that Jessica had to be sedated by a doctor at the family home after the incident.

"We had to pull Jessica off the girl, (the girl) was screaming blue murder and begging for someone to get Jessica off her," Karen said.

"Rita would come to me for advice when Jessica played up.

"We pulled Jess off the girl as she (was) tearing huge chunks of hair off her head, you could see her scalp. She's a big girl, about 130 kilos."

Karen said that Jessica had been bullied during her school years.

"She herself was bullied at school in the toilets and was kicked and had her hair pulled," she said.

She also said that Jessica loved her mother Rita and would be devastated when she realised she was dead.

"When she realises what (has happened to her) mother, she'll be destroyed, she loves her mother," she said.

"Rita was a beautiful, caring and loyal mother, she loved Jess unconditionally - but her devotion to Jess caused her to lose her life; she thought she could save her from a mental institution by keeping her close at home.

Jessica Camilleri seen outside her home in St Clair. Picture: 9NEWS
Jessica Camilleri seen outside her home in St Clair. Picture: 9NEWS

"Whenever there was an episode, Rita would beg people not the call the police, she promised to take care of Jess and for the most part she managed, but there were times no one could control her meltdowns."

Jessica, who worked as a part-time cashier at Mount Druitt Kmart, is also alleged to have attacked her case worker at disability employment services Nova around the same time as the incident involving the schoolgirl, Karen said.

The growing challenge of managing the young woman's behaviour is also believed to have caused the breakdown of Rita's marriage to her husband Vince, from whom she separated five years ago.

Jessica's sister Kristy was afraid to leave her young son alone with her sister because of her unpredictable nature, Karen said.

Karen, a disability worker, said: "Kristy would worry something would happen to her son if Jess had one of her meltdowns, or when she was unstable.

"More recently, however, she learned to trust Jess and believed her son would be a calming influence."

Jessica was assessed in hospital before her matter was mentioned in Penrith Local Court on Monday, where she did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. The matter will next be heard on August 9.

 

 

 

Neighbours said Rita Camelleri preferred to keep her daughter at home instead of in a mental institution.
Neighbours said Rita Camelleri preferred to keep her daughter at home instead of in a mental institution.
Forensic analysts at the scene of Rita Camilleri’s alleged murder. Picture: David Swift.
Forensic analysts at the scene of Rita Camilleri’s alleged murder. Picture: David Swift.

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