A man who fatally stabbed his mother and his aunt five years ago was insane at the time of the murders, a jury decided on Thursday.

The jurors returned an 8-1 verdict after having, on Wednesday, heard psychiatrists describe how the accused, Kavin Micallef, was convinced that the pair were conspiring to kill him and his delusion persisted today.

Micallef had feared that his coffee was being spiked. 

The murder took place in July 2018 in the washroom of Micallef's residence in Gharghur.

He had allegedly heard Maria Carmela Fenech, his aunt asking his mother, Antonia Micallef, whether “he had realized.”

That comment, on the back of an almost sleepless night and an ever-present belief that the two were putting something in his coffee, had suddenly made him “click,” Micallef later told police.

Micallef told police he had grabbed a long knife from the kitchen and stabbed his aunt before turning upon his mother.

He then reported his actions to the police. 

The medical experts testified that Micallef was confused and at the time did not realise his actions. 

Blood tests confirmed a “rather heavy” diagnosis of Huntington’s disease. That, coupled with psychosis, meant that at the time of the double attack, Micallef was acting under the “fixed false belief” that his relatives were conspiring to kill him. 

The judge ordered that Micallef be detained at Mount Carmel under care of his psychiatrist.

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