Man who cut off mother's head found not guilty due to insanity

·2-min read
General view of Cambridge Crown Court, Cambridge.
The man was tried ad Cambridge Crown Court. (PA)

A man who decapitated his mother and put her body parts in a fridge, believing she was the devil, has been found not guilty of her murder by reason of insanity.

Ernest Grusza, 41, was suffering from a rare type of psychotic episode when he attacked Wiesslawa Mierzejeska with a meat cleaver, a trial at Cambridge Crown Court was told.

The defendant was found by police wearing blood-soaked clothes outside a shop in St Ives in Cambridgeshire on 22 February.

He led the officers to his 59-year-old mother’s flat in Norris Road and they discovered her dismembered body in 11 pieces.

Narita Bahra QC, defending, said Grusza “thought he was Jesus”.

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Police tape at the cordon across a crime scene
Police tape at the cordon across a crime scene

She said that his mother had told a friend, who spoke better English than her, to call emergency services as Grusza was “whispering, talking about the devil, speaking like a child”.

His mother said to “take him away, I am scared”, said Ms Bahra, adding: “She thought there was a real risk… but her concern fell on deaf ears.”

Summing up the evidence in the case, judge Mr Justice Fraser said Grusza “said (his mother) was the devil”.

Writing in her diary in the weeks before her tragic death, Mierzejeska told of concerns about her son, having noticed increasingly odd behaviour.

The judge told jurors, before they retired to consider their verdict: “You may come to the conclusion that there were failures in this case by the agencies to whom she turned for assistance.

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“You know that she tried to get help from social services, from her GP, by dialling 111, and she tried to get help from the police.

“None of those agencies gave her the help that she sought but you are not to hold any of those failures by those agencies against this defendant.”

The “normal and quiet” defendant, who had worked at a rubber warehouse for three years before the killing, had never been in trouble with the police before he was arrested for the murder of his mother, the trial heard.

The defendant said he had no memory of the killing but agreed it was unlawful.

The judge told jurors, after they returned their verdict, they had seen a “lot of disturbing material” in the case and he instructed that they be given leaflets “identifying sources of help” such as counselling.

The judge will hear from psychiatrists at a sentencing hearing on Tuesday before making a hospital order.

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