Forest Hill man Daniel Coriat detained in hospital after cutting off his mother's head - update

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A PARANOID schizophrenic man claimed to be the son of God after beheading his mother and laying her mutilated body in a crucifix pose, a court heard.

The body of 76-year-old Elizabeth Coriat was found in a “star shape” with multiple weapons embedded in her including a knife driven through her eye.

Her severed head had been twisted 180 degrees and placed back on her neck and she had 47 separate injuries including stigmata-like marks on her hands and ankles, the Old Bailey heard today.

Daniel Coriat yesterday admitted killing his mother in the flat they shared together in Taymount Grange, Forest Hill, around March 23 last year.

The 44-year-old was suffering a psychotic episode - where he believed his mother was a witch - at the time.

He was today detained indefinitely at Broadmoor Hospital under a hospital order and a restriction order under the Mental Health Act.

Coriat was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 18 and had recently stopped taking his medication and was on recreational drugs at the time of the killing, the court heard.

Judge Richard Hone said: "I have reached a clear conclusion that your mental illness is the primary component of this terrible offence.

"My task is to ensure the public is safeguarded as far as possible from any further occurrence of this bizarre, grisly violence."

He went on to say that Coriat was only dangerous when mentally ill and on drugs.

Judge Hone added: "It's been a truly difficult case and the family must all receive the full sympathy of the court in the context of this truly awful event."

Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes told the court: “The body was seen lying on her bed in an almost star-shaped or crucifix position.

“The head was removed and turned 180 degrees and laid back on the other side.”

Ms Coriat’s pet tortoise was also found dead beside her with one of its rear legs missing.

Ms Plaschkes went on to say neighbours saw Mr Coriat wandering around naked with a “glassy” staring look on the evening the killing took place.

He was found by police hiding in a wheelie bin outside Forest Hill station where he claimed he had been living for two months since coming down from heaven.

Coriat made “Hannibal Lecter gestures” and snarled at the officers – who were called after he made numerous death threats to members of the public on March 24.

Ms Plaschkes told the court: “He said he was the son of God and had come down from the sky and been living in the bin since then.

“The defendant made a Hannibal Lecter tongue, laughing erratically and snarling at the officers.”

Defending, James Scobie QC said Coriat was only dangerous when mentally ill and questioned why he hadn't been sectioned after he was taken to hospital the day before after displaying odd behaviour.

Mr Scobie said: "He has to carry with him the stigma of having killed his mother and at no stage has he ever showed anything other than remorse for what he has done."

Coriat pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility.

A charge of murder was dropped yesterday after numerous psychiatrists deemed him mentally unwell.

When he was a teenager Coriat also tried to strangle his sister believing her to be “a witch” while on holiday in Italy, the court heard.

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