Man who killed wife and dog while hallucinating they were ‘demons’ jailed

A man who killed his wife and dog thinking they were demons that he had to get rid of "from this plane of existence" has been jailed.

Paul Leslie Quirk, 49, who suffered a relapse of schizophrenia at the time of the attack, viciously beat wife Christina Khoo Gek Hwa, 43, with a martial arts weapon known as a pair of kali sticks and a hanger in a bid to "finish her" at a third-floor flat in the residential estate of Compassvale Bow in Singapore on January 3, 2020.

When she ran back into the apartment and eventually collapsed, he fatally stabbed her multiple times in the neck with a kitchen knife.

He then stabbed and killed the couple's 10-month-old pet poodle and threw it off the balcony.

When policemen arrived at the property after being called by worried neighbours who heard the commotion, Quirk told them he was "Jesus Christ" and that he had killed his wife because "she is a demon".

He added that he had killed the family dog because it was "the demon’s familiar" that "could have brought the demon back to life", and that by throwing it off the balcony he had thrown it "into the abyss".

On Monday, May 24, Australian podiatrist Quirk was sentenced to 10 years in jail at the High Court after he pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide.

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The charge was reduced from murder, as his psychiatric condition was assessed to have substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts.

Another charge, of mischief for killing the dog, was taken into consideration.

Quirk, who was from Melbourne and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2005, had grown more sporadic in taking his medication in the few months leading up to the killing on Jan 2 last year.

The court heard that this led to a relapse.

On the night of January 2 last year, the couple had an argument which led to Quirk packing his bag and leaving to go and stay with family who were visiting from Australia.

Upon his return, the couple went to the nearby Catholic Spirituality Centre along Upper Serangoon Road.

"At the centre, the accused heard a voice telling him repeatedly: 'I have a chance to stop this from getting worse'," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong.

DPP Chong added: "These voices were very insistent, and told him that the deceased was evil and that staying with her would upset the order and balance of everything.

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"He also saw a passer-by wearing a marathon 'finisher' t-shirt, that his mind broke down to 'finish her'."

Back home, Quirk took a shower and heard voices telling him: "Now is the time to strike. Hurry up, you have to take this opportunity".

Just before noon, Quirk started hitting Khoo forcefully and without warning on the head and upper body. She ran to the balcony and screamed for help.

The court heard Quirk continued hitting her, shouting: "You die, you die!"

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When she collapsed, Quirk retrieved a knife from the kitchen and repeatedly stabbed her neck.

After killing the dog, he sent a text message to his brother saying: "It is done."

"The accused only ceased his attack after he was satisfied that he had killed the deceased," said DPP Chong.

In sentencing Quirk, Justice Ang Cheng Hock called the offences "horrific and bizarre", noting that incarceration would both serve to protect the public from a violent relapse and rehabilitate him in a secure and structured environment.

"It was entirely reckless for him to reduce his medication… This tragically led to the killing of Madam Khoo," the judge said.

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