Illawarra Newsroom

Son jailed for killing mum with plank at Woonona

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**Warning** Parts of this story may be distressing.

SYDNEY, Oct 16 AAP - A loving mentally ill son who killed his elderly mother with a wooden plank so she wouldn't bother him for the rest of his life has been jailed for at least six years in NSW.

Boutros Mouawad went to his local RSL club for a few hours after attacking his mother in the backyard of their Illawarra home and wrapping her head in a plastic bag to stop the blood flow making too much mess.

He later admitted that on his return he thought she was dead but struck her again, wanting to make sure "to shut her up, so that she could not say anything anymore or bother him for the rest of his life".

The now 57-year-old disability pensioner, who was originally charged with murder, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Hind Mouawad, 72, in February 2019 at their home in Woonona, in northern Wollongong.

His plea was accepted by the Crown on the basis his capacity to control himself was substantially impaired by an abnormality of the mind, his bipolar affective disorder.

In the NSW District Court on Friday, Judge Christopher O'Brien jailed him for nine years with a non-parole period of six years.

Describing the case as "sad and difficult", he said the victim was a much-loved mother, grandmother and friend and her loss has been keenly felt by all of those who knew and loved her.

According to the agreed facts, the pair had argued about gambling before he struck her multiple times to the head and face with a large piece of wood.

On his return from the club after striking her again, he hosed her down and the area around her to try to remove the blood and took the bag from around her head and dumped it in a bin.

He rang triple zero saying he had returned home to find his mother unconscious after she fell over on her head.

Mouawad repeatedly lied to police, but after his arrest wrote to his family saying: "I myself can't believe God allowed me to do such an evil and cowardly thing" and said how sorry and ashamed he was.

"MOTHER is in my heart forever. I don't care anymore what I did. It was a very bad and cowardly mistake. I honestly didn't want to hurt her or anybody else," he wrote.

He said gambling had got to him and his mother, they would go to the club and she would say "another $20" and would spend more of his money.

Two psychiatrists gave evidence, agreeing Mouawad was suffering from bipolar affective disorder at the time.

He first received medical treatment for his psychiatric illness in 2001 but appeared to have stopped taking his medication in about 2005.

Describing the case as an example of extreme domestic violence, Judge O'Brien said it involved a significant degree of violence and aggression on a vulnerable victim in the home where she had lived for 45 years.

His callousness was compounded by his returning and striking his mother again to ensure she was dead and then, "in a particularly degrading and disgraceful way", hosing her down.

The judge found but for his mental illness, the crime would not have occurred with the evidence indicating he generally had a loving and supportive relationship with his mother.

AAP MSS/ET

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