Updated 5.28pm

A man accused of murdering his own mother and aunt admitted to the crime when he called a police emergency hotline to report the crime, a court heard on Tuesday.

Kevin Micallef, 47, would later tell interrogating officers that he killed the two because he believed they were spiking his coffee with tranquillizers.

Micallef is currently facing trial to determine whether he was insane when he committed the crime.

Antonia Micallef and Maria Carmela Fenech were found stabbed in their Għargħur in July 2018, after Micallef contacted emergency hotline 112 to report the murders.

“Police? I’ve just killed my mother,” he told the officer who answered the phone. “I’ve killed my mother and aunt.”

The court heard a recording of that call on Monday. In it, Micallef could be heard saying he had used a knife to stab the two.

When Rapid Intervention Unit officers reached the Għargħur house, Micallef opened the door and calmly gave himself up, officers testified on Monday.

Officers described Micallef as appearing “confused” and “disorientated”.

Inside the house's washroom, they found Micallef’s mother and aunt, both stabbed.

The aunt was pronounced dead on site. Lead investigator Inspector Kurt Zahra found her face up, arms spread out on the floor of the washroom, lying in a pool of blood.

Lying on top of her was Micallef’s mother, who was still alive at the time.

She uttered her last words to a medico-legal expert called to the site, telling him that her son had “stabbed them”. She died later in hospital.

Micallef was examined on-site and then taken to the Naxxar police station to be photographed before being escorted to Mount Carmel hospital.

Accused suspected his coffee was being spiked

Two days later, he was deemed fit to be interrogated. He was escorted to police headquarters where he was read his legal rights, refusing the right to legal assistance.

His audio-visual statement was played out in court during Zahra’s testimony on Tuesday. 

In it, he again admitted to murdering the two, exclaiming “I couldn’t bear them any longer! I couldn’t!”. 

Micallef described his “not so good” relationship with his mum and aunt.

“I was always feeling tired,” he started off, explaining how he would have to stop twice if he went jogging.

The accused suspected that his coffee was being spiked, because he always felt tired after drinking it.

He had long been harbouring a suspicion that his mum and aunt were putting “something” in his coffee. It was his aunt, Maria Carmela who prepared the drink, making it quite strong.

The day before the fatal episode, he had not had his coffee at home, telling police that he had feared doing so.

An overheard conversation that sparked the murders

The following day, he was sipping his morning coffee at around 5:30am in the kitchen when he stepped out into the yard.

That was when he overheard his aunt speaking to his mother in the washroom.

“Do you think he realized? What have we done!” his aunt said.

Those words suddenly made him “click.”

File photo: Matthew MirabelliFile photo: Matthew Mirabelli

“These two are surely going to kill me,” Micallef said to himself.

Grabbing a knife from a kitchen drawer, he went into the washroom and stabbed his aunt.

Asked by his interrogators, Micallef recalled that it was “a long knife with a black handle.”

As he struck at his aunt, his mother was crying.

“Did she intervene in any way to try to stop you?” Zahra asked.

“No,” Micallef replied.

As his mother cried in the background, he turned and stabbed her too.

“It had been months, months! I go jogging and I stop twice,” Micallef tried to explain during the interrogation.

“Do you know how many times you stabbed your mother?”

“No idea.”

After the attack, he had called police and an ambulance.

He also recalled placing the alleged murder weapon on a table in the yard.

Lead inspector Kurt Zahra testified that he had found a blood-smeared knife lying on a white table near a potted plant.

Micallef said there had been no previous physical clashes with his mother and aunt, who had been living at their family home for some ten years or so.

His relationship with his mother was “sometimes good, sometimes bad,” said Micallef, explaining how she would interfere whenever he tried to have a relationship with a woman.

“She wanted me to stay at home,” the accused had told police when releasing his statement.

Huntington's Disease diagnosis

During his interrogation, Micallef was asked whether he suffered any particular disease. Asked by Micallef’s lawyer, Zahra said that police had come across a number of medicines at the Għargħur home. They wanted to know who the medicines were for.

Micallef had then mentioned that his brother had Parkinson’s disease and had died just a few months prior, Zahra recalled.

Micallef's lawyer told the court that his client had been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease - an inherited neurological condition that causes muscular problems as it kills off brain cells. 

The trial, presided over by Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, continues.

Lawyer Francois Dalli is defence counsel. AG lawyers Sean Gabriel Azzopardi and Kaylie Bonett prosecuted.

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