A Sydney husband followed and stabbed his wife in the neck multiple times until she died because he was suffering from jealous delusions, a court has heard.
Mourad Kerollos, now 62, has pleaded not guilty in a judge-alone trial to Gihan Kerollos’s murder on the grounds he was suffering from a mental illness at the time.
Crown prosecutor Pat Barrett said in his opening address on Tuesday that forensic psychiatrist Kerri Eagle who examined Kerollos after the killing will say he was suffering from a psychotic disorder featuring the “Othello syndrome”.
It had manifest in hallucinations and morbid jealousy that his wife was acting as a sex worker and having affairs.
Ms Kerollos, also known as Gigi, had been working as an administrator at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick where she finished her shift on the evening of May 18, 2019.
The 48-year-old was seen leaving the hospital by the main entrance at about 830pm and was followed by her husband carrying a Coles shopping bag.
Nine minutes later he phoned triple zero and told the operator he had killed his wife.
Her body was found lying partly on the footpath with her head covered in the plastic bag.
The Panania man was arrested a short distance away in his car where police found the knife he used on the front passenger seat.
Acting Justice Peter Hidden will have no issue in determining that Kerollos did intend to kill his wife or cause her serious injury, the Crown submitted.
The sole issue for Justice Hidden is whether he was mentally ill at the time of the killing, or if his charge should be reduced to manslaughter.
The delusion of infidelity began about two or three years before the killing as their marriage began to break down, according to Dr Eagle.
This is despite the fact that in 2015 it was Kerollos who had an affair.
It was at this time the couple’s 20-year marriage deteriorated among mounting arguments.
“Most of their arguments were about how stubborn the accused was. Their arguments were usually about something minor but often escalated,” Mr Barrett told the Supreme Court.
In the last 12 months, the relationship substantially worsened and the pair were sleeping in separate bedrooms.
He wanted to know everything about his wife’s movements and who she was talking to, and began checking her telephone.
She was forced into taking public transport to work in the weeks leading up to her death telling her son that Kerollos had confiscated her car keys.
When she visited a cousin in Newcastle, Kerollos turned up and returned her home.
His sons were unable to convince him that she was not having affairs and were told to mind their own business when they questioned him about taking her car keys.
One day before her death Ms Kerollos said she would be filing for divorce.
“The accused laughed at her and he again accused her of cheating.”
Police later found Kerollos smelled strongly of alcohol and when asked what he had to drink he said about four or five whiskies, “after I did what I did”.
The trial continues.