Mentally impaired Perth mother who killed her two daughters awaits verdict

A judge will soon decide whether a mentally ill Perth mother was criminally responsible for killing her two young daughters before trying to take her own life.

The murder trial of 40-year-old Milka Djurasovic has ended after one-and-a-half days, with Justice Stephen Hall reserving his decision in the West Australian supreme court.

Djurasovic has admitted killing her daughters Mia, 10, and six-year-old Tiana, whose bodies were found by their father, Nenad, at their Madeley home in October 2019.

She argues she is not guilty of murder because she was of unsound mind.

Djurasovic, who had struggled with worsening mental health issues and feared her children would be forced into care if she was hospitalised, was diagnosed after the killings with major depression with psychotic features.

In his closing submission to the court on Tuesday, prosecutor Justin Whalley agreed Djurasovic should be acquitted of the girls’ murders.

He said three highly respected expert psychiatrists had found that when Djurasovic killed her daughters, she was in such a state of mental impairment that she lacked the capacity to know she ought not to commit the act.

An “objective, dispassionate” review of the evidence supported that conclusion despite the seriousness of the offending and its tragic impact, Egli ha detto.

Hall will deliver his verdict and the reasons for his judgment next Wednesday.

The court has heard Djurasovic woke around 7am on the day of the killings and thought to herself “today’s the day”, subsequently placing knives, machetes and rope in the pantry.

Tiana cried when she saw the rope and knives, asking her mother “are you going to do something to me?” and saying she wanted to go to school.

Djurasovic “snapped out of it” and got the girls ready for school, sounding upbeat and normal over the phone when she received a call from her husband.

At the school gates, she parked for several minutes before deciding to return home, telling Tiana they were going to go shopping.

Later that morning she decided to proceed with killing the girls and herself, plugging a vacuum cleaner into the wall and leaving it running to drown out any sound.

After killing her daughters, Djurasovic paced around the home before kissing and hugging the girls and placing toys next to their bodies.

She then made several attempts to take her own life and recorded a video in which she repeatedly apologised and urged her husband to let her die.

The girls’ father arrived home that afternoon to discover Mia’s body, with Tiana’s body later discovered by paramedics.

Police found Djurasovic a short time later covered in a blanket in sand dunes at a nearby beach, having again attempted to end her life.

Several notes which Djurasovic had typed or handwritten were found in the home.

“I love my girls more than anyone and anything and I am so sorry for not looking after them better," lei scrisse.

“I should have been more ‘connected’ to my husband and friends. I did not like talking about my problems. I wish I had. I am so sorry for everything.”

Djurasovic also wrote a letter to her husband, saying she didn’t want her daughters to end up on medication and that she “did nothing bad on purpose but that is how it ended up”.

Forensic psychiatrist Viki Pascu said Djurasovic’s “defective reasoning” as a result of her psychotic depression had justified her actions in her own mind.

“She [felt] that she had to end the torment for her children and herself,” Pascu said.

Djurasovic briefly took the stand on Monday to assert, under questioning from her lawyer Mark Trowell QC, that she had been honest throughout her police and psychiatric interviews.

It is open to Hall to order Djurasovic’s continued detention regardless of the verdict.

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