Alex Reuben McEwan has pleaded not guilty to murdering South Korean student Eunji Ban.
Alex Reuben McEwan has pleaded not guilty to murdering South Korean student Eunji Ban.

Murder accused: Demons are mocking me

THREE demons have been tormenting murder accused Alex Reuben McEwan, with one "commanding" him to attack a prosecutor, a jury has been told.

Mr McEwan, 23, has pleaded not guilty to murdering student Eunji Ban, who was violently attacked before her body was dumped in Brisbane's Wickham Park.

Medical experts giving evidence on Wednesday said Mr McEwan, a former Ipswich man, was experiencing hallucinations and hideous nightmares.

Justice Jean Dalton asked Dr Julian Dodemaide if Mr McEwan would better withstand giving evidence if regular breaks were scheduled at the trial.

Dr Dodemaide said stress and anxiety seemed to increase the severity of Mr McEwan's hallucinations, and he would benefit from breaks.

Psychiatrist Dr Donald Grant told the court Mr McEwan was on "maximum doses" of three different anti-psychotic drugs.

The jury heard Mr McEwan had voiced regret about Ms Ban's death, and sorrow for both her family and his own.

Ms Ban, a Korean student aged 22, was killed on her way to work at the Transcontinental Hotel on Sunday, November 24, 2013.

Jurors at Brisbane Supreme Court heard that after his arrest the next day, Mr McEwan told police he stomped on Ms Ban, and complained to police about demons.

"He has a delusion that he was possessed by a demon when this happened but the demon was responsible," Dr Grant said.

The jury heard Mr McEwan had complained of auditory and visual hallucinations, including comments from "derogatory" demons.

Mr McEwan heard "the demons cutting their own throat" and commanding him to self-harm.

One demon had also urged him to attack prosecutor David Meredith, the trial heard.

Dr Grant said Mr McEwan had reported an intrusive demon called Jazzy sometimes being in the same room as him.

The jury heard Mr McEwan had been finding it increasingly difficult to avoid hallucinations.

He also reported having nightmares, including a recurring bad dream which involved him being "dragged through a portal by demons and the devil into hell".

Dr Grant said Mr McEwan had spoken of three demons and displayed symptoms consistent with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

But for some time, Mr McEwan had denied having a mental illness, instead speaking of "a contest between heaven and hell", Dr Grant added.

A few months ago Mr McEwan "was quite deluded" and thought his pills were being poisoned, the psychiatrist added.

But Dr Grant said Mr McEwan was now open to the possibility he was mentally ill.

Defence barrister John Allen asked Dr Grant if he thought Mr McEwan was trying to sabotage the trial.

The psychiatrist replied: "He wants to get this done...I think that's genuine."

The trial continues on Thursday.

- NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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