Double killer sent to Broadmoor
A 25-year-old who killed her
great-grandmother and her former boyfriend was insane at the time of
the deaths, the Old Bailey has heard.
Phiona Davis, of Green Lanes, Palmers Green, north
London, was found not guilty of murder due to insanity.
The student had told doctors she thought Keith
Fernandez was a robot and her great-grandmother Mary Skerrit was the
devil, the jury heard.
Both were found with multiple stab wounds in
October last year.
On Tuesday, the court heard that Miss Davis had
said she had attacked them because she thought "judgment day" had
Miss Davis was also found not guilty of arson by
reason of insanity. She had denied all of the charges.
She was given a hospital order under section 37 of
the Mental Health Act with a section 41 restriction, meaning she can
never be freed without permission from the Home Office.
The 25-year-old was returned to Broadmoor special
hospital where she is being treated.
Judge Martin Stephens told her: "When you committed
these appalling acts of violence, you were suffering from a severe
He said forensic psychiatrist, Professor Nigel
Eastman, had called her "one of the illest people he had met in over
Mr Fernandez, 27, was found with 58 stab wounds and
81-year-old Mrs Skerrit was discovered with 130 stab wounds a day
later, at her home in Stoke Newington, north London, after a number of
fires had been started there.
David Evans QC, prosecuting, told the jury Miss
Davis had stood outside Mrs Skerrit's flat holding her hands
outstretched and said "I am the Messiah".
He said she had shown some manic behaviour in 2002
and expressed interest in the church, saying God was speaking to her.
She had become a regular worshipper at the Kabbalah
Centre in early 2003.
"In April 2003, Miss Davis's general practitioner
notes that Miss Davis had been involved in prayer at church, she
reported feeling controlled by the church," Mr Evans said.
"She felt scared living alone, she was not eating
or drinking properly.
"She reported feeling that people from the Kabbalah
Centre were walking around her flat."
Miss Davis had been discharged from hospital twice
after her psychotic symptoms disappeared following overnight stays.
The court was told she failed to keep follow-up
appointments, but had since responded to medication and was now
"extraordinarily distressed by what she has done."
Crazed cult follower caged after frenzied attack
September 27, 2004
A PALMERS Green woman who became a crazed disciple
of the cult Kabbalah religion is in maximum security Broadmoor today
after stabbing her great-grandmother and lover to death.
Phiona Davis, 25, of Green Lanes, was a devotee of
the controversial Kabbalah sect, which counts Madonna, Britney Spears
and Demi Moore, among its followers.
The fashion student stabbed lover Keith Fernandez
58 times and knifed her 81-year-old great grandmother Mary Skerritt
130 times, the Old Bailey heard.
She was a regular worshipper at the London branch
of the Kabbalah Centre, in Stratford Place, Mayfair, set up with a
£3.65 million grant from Madonna.
The court heard neighbours reported a man screaming
at Davis' home on October 12 last year. They broke down the door to
find her astride her lover's body, repeatedly stabbing him in the
Davis warned 'Don't come any closer. I'm going to
do it.' Mr Fernandez, of Seven Kings, managed to stagger out of the
flat, but he collapsed and died.
One witness said: "Her eyes were glazed and evil
looking and she had an evil look on her face."
Davis shouted: "God done good, for this is done
David managed to evade capture and the next day she
attacked her great-grandmother, Mary Skerritt, at her home in Spencer
Grove, Stoke Newington.
Neighbours called the fire brigade after seeing
smoke billowing from the windows. They found Davis outside screaming:
"I am God, I am the benevolent one, burn the demons and burn her."
The court heard she held out her hands 'like Jesus'
and tried to stop the firefighters entering the flat, shouting, 'only
God can judge me in the heavens.' Mrs Skerritt was found lying in a
pool of blood in the hallway. Crucifixes and the woman's jewellery had
been laid out on the floor and a palm cross was left by the front
Davis had set four fires in the house and all the
gas rings were on.
As she was taken away, she screamed: "You can
arrest me, but you can't punish me. Only God can punish me."
Later, at Stoke Newington police station, she
attempted to strangle herself and smeared crosses on the wall with
excrement and blood.
She shouted at police "I am the messiah and the
king of kings. I will forgive you all."
Davis was sent to Broadmoor hospital on Tuesday,
after an eminent psychiatrist described her as one of the 'illest'
people he had ever seen. She was cleared of murder by reason of
Woman denies double murder charge
Tuesday, 6 April,
A 25-year-old woman has appeared at
the Old Bailey to deny murdering her great-grandmother and her former
Phiona Davis, of Green Lanes, Palmers Green, north
London, who also denied arson, was remanded until 30 July.
Keith Fernandez, aged 27, was found with more than
50 stab wounds in Green Lanes on 13 October 2003.
The body of Mary Skerrit, 81, was found with more
than 100 stab wounds at her burning home in Stoke Newington, north
London, the next day.
Ms Davis is due to stand trial on 6 September.