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Woman cuts throats of 2 sleeping children after watching crime program on television

UK:   A woman who sliced open the necks of two young children with a steak knife was triggered into action by an episode of America crime drama CSI, a court heard.

Sadie Jenkins, 28, knifed the sleeping children after detecting what she believed was a “message” contained in the hit TV programme.

Jenkins believed a violent Mafia hit man would torture and brutally kill the sleeping baby girl and seven-year-old boy victims, a court heard.

Her deluded belief triggered the violent attack which she thought would save them “from a fate worse than death,” a jury heard.

A psychiatric expert told Cardiff Crown Court Jenkins knew what she was doing but had no idea it was wrong.

Doctor Philip Joseph, a senior consultant forensic psychiatrist, said Jenkins was suffering “amphetamine induced psychosis,” at the time.

He interviewed her in March this year and concluded she had been suffering a psychotic episode brought by drug abuse.

“She was in the grip of a psychotic illness and out of touch from reality,” he said in evidence.

Jenkins was hearing voices and believed in a “paranoid conspiracy” against her, all classic symptoms, he said.

He said she formed the belief that a Mafia assassin with a tattoo of a teardrop on his body would torture and kill the children and her.

While watching an episode of CSI on the evening of the attack she believed she saw a man with such a tattoo.

Dr Joseph said: “She watched CSI and thought the programme contained a hidden message. She saw a guy covered in teardrop tattoos.”

Jenkins told him that at that point “everything made sense” and she realised that an organisation like the Mafia had been operating in her life.

“I was the weak link and they did not want me around,” she told him in an interview.

Jenkins was caught standing over the baby girl with a steak knife raised above her head after slashing the baby’s throat.

The seven-year-old boy was found in the corner of the room holding a blanket to a gaping wound in his neck.

The two children, who cannot be named, were taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital and underwent surgery to treat life-threatening wounds.

Doctor Joseph said by the time of the attack Jenkins was so paranoid she believed a passing helicopter was part of the conspiracy against her.

“Certainly by the time of the helicopter she had gone over to the absolute conviction in her mind that she had to do it.

“But what she did does not imply knowing the difference between right and wrong. It would be hard to argue that she was not suffering a psychotic episode.

“Whether or not that borders on insanity is for the jury to decide.”