Nostradamus delusion ends with man killing family member with bayonet

A MAN so devoted to the writings of Nostradamus he read copies of original transcripts in medieval French was yesterday ordered into psychiatric care for killing step-grandfather with a bayonet.

Matthew James Woodroffe-Hill, 41, of Tenterfield, was found not guilty by mental illness at Lismore Supreme Court to murdering Mark Hutchinson, 82, at his home in Armidale, on January 12, 2007.

Woodroffe-Hill had no history of violence or mental illness but from March 2006 and as a result of his research he believed catastrophic events would occur and that he was Nostradamus' 'son of the west'.

He drove to Sydney with his wife and two children to continue his research at mosques and to deliver a message of impending doom.

But the journey descended into a nightmare of paranoid delusions including spies, terrorists and mythical creatures.

Worried he and his family were being followed, Woodroffe-Hill eventually returned to Tenterfield after a rambling journey but left soon after to seek help from Mr Hutchinson.

After another rambling journey, they arrived at Mr Hutchinson's house in the morning.

They ate breakfast together and then left.

While driving out of Armidale Woodroffe-Hill's family fell asleep, exhausted.

He turned the car around and headed back to Mr Hutchinson's house.

Woodroffe-Hill parked his car in the driveway and entered through the garage. He stabbed Mr Hutchinson with a bayonet and then decapitated him.

During sentencing, Justice Barr said two psychiatrists who examined Woodroffe-Hill after his arrest agreed he had developed paranoid schizophrenia.

"He was delusionally driven in his actions believing he (Mr Hutchinson) intended to harm him and his family," he said.

"So he came in his delusion to kill a man he loved and to whom he had gone for assistance.

"The sympathy of the court goes out to all those who have been affected."

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