Accused beheader Jessica Camilleri breaks down in court
Accused beheader Jessica Camilleri breaks down in court

Accused beheader breaks down in court

A YOUNG Sydney woman accused of cutting off her mother's head has broken down in court as she consented to police taking forensic samples from her body to help in their investigation into the horror killing.

Jessica Camilleri appeared in Penrith Local Court today sporting a big cast on her right arm almost three weeks after she allegedly decapitated her mother Rita with kitchen knives in their St Clair home before dropping her head in a neighbour's front yard.

Magistrate Peter Thompson told the 25-year-old that police needed her permission to take fingerprint samples and also permission to use samples of her blood, nails and hair which were taken when she was arrested on the night of July 20.

Jessica Camilleri, 25, who police allege used several knives to decapitate her mother.
Jessica Camilleri, 25, who police allege used several knives to decapitate her mother.


Sergeant Paul Farrow told the court officers could not take samples of Camilleri's fingerprints because the injuries on her hands were so severe on the night.

Police allege Camilleri killed her 57-year-old mother in the kitchen area of their house before dialling triple-0 and telling authorities what she had allegedly done.

It is alleged she then went outside and dropped Rita's head in a neighbour's front yard before police arrived on scene and later charged her with murder.

The court was told an interim order was imposed to stop detectives using the other samples of Camilleri's blood, nails and hair because she was deemed too mentally unwell to properly consent on the night.

Police rushed to the St Clair home after being called and found a gruesome scene. Picture: Steve Tyson/TNV
Police rushed to the St Clair home after being called and found a gruesome scene. Picture: Steve Tyson/TNV

When asked by Mr Thompson if she understood why she was in court today Camilleri replied: "Yes and no - I have a disability and it's very hard for me to comprehend things and understand things".

After having the process explained to her, Camilleri became tearful and said she consented to having her fingerprint swabs taken and for police to use the samples taken on the night.

"It happened on the night … there were so many things done on that night," she said.

She also alluded to the cast on her right arm and said "I still can't use this hand - it's been like this since the night it happened" to which Mr Thompson said "perhaps you shouldn't say so much ma'am".

Forensics crews were at the scene of the beheading well into the next day. Picture: David Swift
Forensics crews were at the scene of the beheading well into the next day. Picture: David Swift

Mr Thompson told the court he was satisfied Camilleri was now capable of consenting to the procedures.

"I'm satisfied that she is capable of providing informed consent at this stage … based on my engagement with Ms Camilleri to the process," he said.

Turning to Ms Camilleri, Mr Thompson said: "all that means is all of that testing that has already been conducted can be used by the police and they will do some analysis on it, and it means the police are now entitled to take your fingerprints".

The fingerprint sample must be taken within 14 days.

Camilleri will return to court at a later date.

Rita Camilleri, 57, who was found decapitated at her St Clair home.
Rita Camilleri, 57, who was found decapitated at her St Clair home.

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