Kill accused 'thought he was Christ'

A MAN accused of murdering an elderly Sydney woman believed he was the reincarnation of Christ and was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US and the Bali bombings.

Greg Philip Matthew Kinloch, 35, today pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to the murder of June Mary Booth on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of mental illness.

Kinloch's mother Madeleine Kinloch told the court today that at the time of the killing her son thought he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and felt responsible for the September 11 attacks in New York as well as the Bali bombings.

Mrs Booth, a 72-year-old retired school headmistress and charity worker, was walking home through Greenwood Park, North Ryde, about 2.30pm (AEST) on August 28 last year when she was attacked by Kinloch.

"There is no disputing in this case that the accused killed Mrs Booth ... the only case to dispute is his mental state at the time," Kinloch's counsel John Stratton, SC, said.

Mrs Kinloch said her son first started displaying signs of a mental illness at the age of 19 after a traumatic breakup with a girlfriend.

He was also smoking cannabis heavily at the time, she said.

"He tried to commit suicide, he tried to cut his wrists," she said.

In 1999, he would intermittently stay with his parents, who had recently reconciled, at their Laguna home and again started showing signs of mental illness, this time schizophrenia, the court heard.

"He became emotionally and physically detached from us," she said.

Although he had trained and worked as a civil engineer, he became unemployed and when not staying with his parents lived off the streets in Sydney, she said.

Mrs Kinloch said her son started getting eccentric ideas about the Bible and "thought he was the reincarnation of Jesus".

When the September 11 attacks in the US and the Bali bombings occurred he blamed himself, she said.

"He was distraught, (he thought) he was responsible for it," she said of the terror attacks.

"Anytime anything bad happened he felt he was responsible."

She said Kinloch also had to stop reading the newspapers and watching television because he thought he was getting messages from them.

Mrs Kinloch said since her son had been treated in the psychiatric hospital at Long Bay Jail he was "human" again.

However she said "there's a long way to go" before he would be back to being the son she once knew.

But crown prosecutor Paul Lynch said Kinloch could still tell right from wrong at the time of the murder, despite his mental illness.

He said the attack on Mrs Booth was random and unprovoked.

"It was a completely unprovoked and random attack," Mr Lynch said.

The judge alone trial will continue tomorrow.