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Son beheads elderly mother using axe but is acquitted on insanity grounds

VICTORIA FALLS – A 36-year-old Victoria Falls man who murdered his own mother, aged 60, in cold blood by axing her head, has been sent to a psychiatric institution after he was acquitted on insanity grounds.

High Court judge, Christopher Dube-Banda said Paul Jubane was not in his right state of mind when he committed the offence.

Jubane killed his mother, Irene Jubane, for no reason in June last year as his father watched helplessly.

He lived at his parents’ homestead under Chief Mvuthu in Victoria Falls.

The State proved that on June 24, 2023 and at 8AM, the now late Irene was watering some vegetables at a family garden.

Paul suddenly emerged from his bedroom armed with an axe while charging towards his mother.

“Without saying anything, accused struck the deceased once on the back of the head with the axe and deceased fell to the ground facing downwards,” the court heard.

“Accused further struck the deceased once on the back of the head as she was lying down.

“The axe remained stuck on the deceased’s head.”

His mother died on the spot.

The court further heard Paul was a known mental patient.

The court, with regard to the psychiatric report, concluded it was clear that at the time of the commission of the offence, Paul was suffering from a mental disorder as defined in the Mental Health Act.

The court settled for the verdict that Paul could not at law be held criminally liable for his conduct.

“In the circumstances, it is ordered that the accused is found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

“In terms of section 29(2)(a) of the Mental Health Act [Chapter 15:12], the accused is to be returned to prison pending transfer to an institution for treatment,” the judge ruled.

Banda however noted that Paul was still a danger to society.

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