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Devastated family of young performer brutally murdered by her own BROTHER with a hammer pays tribute to ‘sister anyone would wish for’
- Gabriella Delaney, 20, was murdered by her own brother with a hammer in 2020
- Lucas Christian Delaney, then 30, has pleaded guilty and has yet to be sentenced
- He repeatedly hit his sister on the head, but remembers little of the incident
- Relatives cried as they read victim statements in court during the hearing
The distraught family of a young artist who was murdered with a hammer by her own brother has spoken of their terror over the death of the 20-year-old.
A court was told Thursday that Gabriella Delaney was repeatedly beaten in the head with a hammer by her older brother Lucas, who was an “extensive” drug user and claims to have only partial memory of the incident.
Ms Delaney’s body was found in June 2020, days after her death, in the western Sydney home she shared with her killer, who was then 30 years old.
Lucas Delaney pleaded guilty to her murder and stood before the NSW Supreme Court for a hearing on Thursday.
Gabriella Delaney’s body was found in the house she shared with her brother.
Gabriella Delaney was murdered by her brother when she was 20 years old. Image Eventbrite
“The perpetrator has deliberately and repeatedly hit the victim on the head with a hammer,” said Public Prosecutor Rossi Kotsis.
In one account, Mr. Delaney claimed that he thought he was with a person he met online, started swinging the hammer, looked down and realized it was his sister.
Before Ms. Delaney’s body was found, Delaney committed himself to a mental health facility and remains on antipsychotic drugs.
Medical assessments of Delaney indicated that he showed signs of schizoaffective disorder that could be exacerbated by the use of drugs such as ice cream and cannabis, of which he was a heavy user.
A mental health expert stated in a written statement that Delaney is “clearly struggling to accept that he alone caused his sister’s death.”
Lucas Delaney showed signs of schizoaffective disorder that can be exacerbated by drugs
The house in western Sydney where Gabriella Delaney’s body was found. Photo Rohan Kelly
“It’s understandable that he’s looking for an explanation based on mental illness,” they said.
During the hearing, family members wept as they read statements about the impact of victims who paid tribute to Ms. Delaney as a talented artist and loving person who has much to offer the world.
Younger sister Rebecca Delaney said Gabriella planned to live with her in Perth before her death.
“She was the sister everyone would wish for. Gabby was a talented artist. All she cared about and stayed true to was her heart, her soul and her passion,” she said.
Growing up in a broken home, with a broken relationship with my mother, I’m so grateful to have an older sister who stood up for me.
“I’m devastated that the world will never be able to experience the gifts Gabby could have given her.”
Mrs Delaney was a budding artist who studied at the University of Western Sydney
Gabriella Delaney’s body (pictured) was found in June 2020, a few days after her death
Rebecca Delaney also spoke of conflict within the family that she described as “toxic.”
“With my sister now dead, I saw my family continue to fall apart. I realize now that it was probably for the best. This family is far too toxic for us to be together,” she said.
Daniel Delaney, Gabriella’s older brother who lived in the area at the time of her murder, said he regretted not finding her sooner.
“There were signs that something was wrong, but my sister was exploring life … and so she had her own space and it wouldn’t be unusual not to see her here and there for a few days,” he said. .
He also remembered the moment he and older brother Jared found their younger sister’s body.
“I tried to enter the room and uncover her, but my brother stopped me,” he said.
“They told me on the phone to see if my sister was still breathing, but I’d known she was dead for days.”
Directly to her older brother, Rebecca said, “Although I harbor so much anger and hatred for what you have done, you were once my brother, so I can only hope you take this opportunity and use the resources available to better yourself. ‘
Lucas Delaney remains in custody pending sentencing.