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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Rzeszowski Heard Voices! Boy, Who Didn't See That Coming?"

Rzeszowski claims he heard voices

The trial of the man accused of murdering six people in Jersey has today been told about the voices Damian Rzeszowski claims he heard immediately before the killings.

It's day three of the trial, and the prosecution are continuing to set out their case.

Damian Rzeszowski denies murdering his wife, two children, father-in-law, a friend and her daughter, but accepts the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Today the prosecution heard from forensic psychotherapist Dr Philip Joseph who assessed Rzeszowski at Broadmoor Hospital.

Dr Joseph confirmed that on 18 July 2011, Damian Rzeszowski visited his GP complaining of 'stress at home'. He described symptoms of mild depression and the GP prescribed anti-depressants.

Wife Izabela threatened suicide.

The next day, Reszowski returned home to find a note from his wife saying that she would commit suicide. He says he took an overdose impulsively, saying he thought the only solution would be to kill himself if their marriage couldn't be fixed.

He was treated at Jersey's General Hospital following the overdose. The psychiatric nurse concluded that it wasn't a serious suicide attempt, relationship counselling rather than pills might be the solution.

Rzeszowski has said that after his suicide attempt he felt a lot better about the relationship and planned a holiday in Poland.

Rzeszowski's parents say they had no idea of his low mood or any problems in his marriage, while he visited Poland.

"Damian suffered from stress but this does NOT amount to an abnormality of his mind."

Dr Joseph said: "He was suffering from stress within marriage, predominantly anxiety and worry, with a mild degree of depressive symptoms during that period."

"In my view that does not amount to an abnormality of mind... it must follow that it does not impair his mental responsibility."

"Anger, frustration or intoxication by alcohol does not amount to an abnormality of mind."

Hearing voices

Rzeszowski claims that he was hearing voices on the day he killed. To psychiatrists, he said "Voices come from the radio, the voices are outside of my head, sometimes I hear them calling my name. I was stressed. Stress brings it on."

In other psychiatrist reports, Rzesowski claimed that on the day of the incident he heard voices on his father-in-law's radio, he heard two men speaking in Polish, clinking their glasses together and saying that they would rape Marta and Izabela and put the children on the barbecue.

The prosecution says that Rzeszowski has changed his story during the course of being assessed by psychiatrists.

Dr Joseph said: "There is no evidence to support that Rzeszowski was hearing voices prior to killing. He is saying different things about the timing and content of the voices. That casts serious doubt on what he is saying."

"If there had been voices making threats to harm his children, then he would want to protect the victims of the voices. He would be in a state of extreme fear, he would want to barricade the house and protect the children inside."

Instead, Rzeszowski claims he was so upset by the voices he had to get away, so he drove off leaving the children alone in the house that morning.

Damian was put on a 7 week drug-free episode

Rzeszowski has been on anti-pyscotic, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs since 19 August 2011, to protect his mental health. But between October and December 2011, psychiatrists withdrew all medication for a 7 week drug-free episode.

During that period, they observed that Rzeszowski became increasingly angry, frustrated and agitated and he expressed worry about his court case. He was seen kicking and punching the walls. He said the voices had stopped. Dr Joseph said "If a person was psychotic and was taken off anti-psychotic drugs, after about a week psychotic symptoms would return, voices would return and worsen - but this is not consistent with his behaviour during the drug-free trial."

The trial is expected to move on to the defence later today. The defence have four expert medical witnesses. Evidence is likely to include CAT scans of Rzeszowski's brain which point to a head injury suffered in December 2009.

The case continues.

Hundreds attend special mass to remember victims

A candle was lit for each of the victims of the St Helier stabbings at a special mass at St Thomas' Church last night.

Around 200 people joined together to remember the six who died exactly a year ago.

Jersey's Lieutenant Governor, his wife, politicians and children turned out to hear the service which was in both English and Polish.

The Polish Consul says the service was an important way for people to unite.

1 comment:

  1. if this man new walker and co,all he would get is a fine?