Mentally-ill woman slashed children's throats during drug-induced psychosis

Court: Sadie Jenkins attacked the children with a kitchen knife
Court: Sadie Jenkins attacked the children with a kitchen knife

A mentally ill woman thought she was saving two children from a fate worse than death when she slashed their throats, a jury has heard.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Sadie Jenkins attacked the toddler and a seven-year-old with a kitchen knife in the midst of a drug-induced psychosis before trying to take her own life.

Forensic psychiatrist Doctor Philip Joseph said prolonged amphetamine abuse had badly affected Jenkins' mental state so much so that she was genuinely convinced the mafia was going to kidnap and torture the two youngsters.

In the hours before the attack, a jury was told Jenkins believed she had been sent a "hidden message" via US TV show Crime Scene Investigation warning her about a man with a tear-drop tattoo.

Dr Joseph said: "She was suffering from a very severe psychotic episode and was out of touch with reality.

"Miss Jenkins formed the intention that she had to kill them and if she did not a worldwide mafia organisation would.

"She was suffering a defect of reason that was so severe that when she attacked the children she did not know what she was doing was wrong.

"She thought she was doing the right thing and preventing them suffering a fate worse than death and would kill them as humanely as possible.

"She believed she had no choice."

The court heard the two children's terrified screams at an address in Newport, south Wales, were so loud it awoke a sleeping couple - who managed to rush in and pin Jenkins and disarm the 28-year-old before she could cause any further harm.

Jenkins was later sectioned under the Mental Health Act and sent to two specialist secure units - one in Monmouth and later one in Stevenage - and was also assessed by Dr Joseph.

The psychiatric expert, who works out of St Mary's Hospital in London, said even when Jenkins was first detained she was "still very psychotic" - and believed she had been in a trance when the attack unfolded.

She later told Dr Joseph: "They set me up like they do in CSI."

The court also heard that Jenkins had been suffering from paranoid delusions for up to two months beforehand.

"She was convinced that a group of people had taken her house keys and were going to into her house," Dr Joseph added.

"She ended up putting coat hangers on all the doors so she could hear them come in."

Dr Joseph said the defendant's complaint of hearing of voices and seeing things were common symptoms of psychosis.