Meredith Walsh lost her AFL coach husband, Phil, in one of the most horrific ways imaginable – brutally stabbed to death by their own son during a violent schizophrenic episode.
The couple were unaware of Cy’s condition, which remained undiagnosed on that night in July 2015. But yesterday, The South Australian Supreme Court determined it was the true cause of his frenzied attack.
The court found the 27-year-old not guilty of murder by reason of mental incompetence, meaning he was not criminally responsible for his actions.
He will now be subject to a lifetime psychiatric supervision order, the terms of which will be determined by the court later this year.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Meredith Walsh said she and her daughter must, too, live with the consequences of his condition for the rest of their lives.
“My heart remains broken, our daughter is devastated by the loss of her father,” her statement said, according to The Adelaide Advertiser.
“Our son Cy is also shattered by what happened and has to live with the consequences of his illness — an illness that has destroyed our loving family.
“We now all live with the devastating consequences of a mental illness that was not understood.”
Cy had been suffering from other mental health issues prior to the attack, and had been committed to a secure mental health facility in 2014 following a physical altercation with his father in Perth.
However Meredith Walsh noted to the court that medical professionals were not obligated to inform her or her husband whether he was abiding by treatment plans – a law, she believes, ought to change.
“There were two occasions that doctors told Cy, a mentally ill patient, to continue to take his medications,” she said.
“Because he was an adult, the medical profession — as the law allows — didn’t involve any other person with his health care because he was classified as an adult.
Meredith and Phil Walsh. Image: Facebook.
“This is where privacy issues must be reviewed in these types of cases where someone’s mental state is gradually escalating and putting themselves or others at risk.
“Family need to be informed of what people need and to be advised of the importance of them being compliant.”
Walsh said she was aware of other families who had been excluded from a loved one’s treatment and recovery as a result of privacy issues, reports The Advertiser.
“There are other families, just like ours, whose lack of relevant information has devastating consequences,” she said.
“I will continue to love and support our son as his father and I have always done.”
Cy's case will appear before the court again in December, where reports will be provided on his diagnosis, prognosis and a suggested treatment plan, reports ABC.