Home Cartoon characters Man kidnapped stepmom thinking she was a ‘witch’ during binge drug binge, court hears

Man kidnapped stepmom thinking she was a ‘witch’ during binge drug binge, court hears


A man who inherited hundreds of thousands of dollars began abusing drugs to the point of mistakenly believing his stepmother was a ‘witch’ when he kidnapped and stabbed her in August 2020, a source has claimed. court.

Ryan Louis O’Grady, 40, faces conviction in South Australia District Court for a series of crimes which included the kidnapping and stabbing of his 70-year-old stepmother and driving the police in a dangerous high-speed chase.

“It was a perfect storm of events that will probably never happen again,” Mark Norman KC, for O’Grady, told judge Michael Durrant.

“These offenses are as shocking as they are strange.”

The court heard O’Grady had inherited “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and a house in Unley, so he decided to move his wife and young daughter from Queensland to Adelaide.

“He became addicted to methamphetamine and with his money he was able to obtain it in huge quantities,” Mr Norman said.

The court heard that O’Grady had used methamphetamine, cannabis and a drug called “meow meow” for months and began having delusions.

Mr Norman told the court that he and his wife, Sharon Dyguazo Haywood, lost custody of their daughter in April 2020, after police found them with drug paraphernalia in a motel room.

“His mental state was really falling off a cliff,” Mr Norman said.

“About 48 hours later, O’Grady goes to SAPOL headquarters and appears to have said he had ‘Wile E. Coyote as a past’ and wanted to see Police Commissioner Grant Stevens.

“He asks to see the commissioner and talks about Looney Tunes cartoon characters.”

Mr Norman said that at the time O’Grady had been assessed by psychologists as a low level concern as there was “no targeted threat”.

O’Grady’s will be sentenced in a car chase that ends at Angas Street SA Police Headquarters. (ABC News: Kathryn Bermingham)

Court heard O’Grady suffered from drug-induced delusions in August 2020 and believed that her stepmother was a “witch”, practicing “black magic” and was going to sell her daughter into slavery.

Mr Norman said O’Grady and his wife paid a driver hundreds of dollars to drive them to Adelaide before forcing his mother-in-law into the car at Greenacres.

Prosecutor Leah O’Donnell said they stabbed her in the stomach and hit her in the head as they led police on a chase from the western suburbs to the foothills and back to town.

She said they were arrested outside the South African Police Headquarters in Angas Street.

The court heard that O’Grady had no mental incompetence defense for his crimes because his psychosis was self-inflicted by his own drug use.

O’Grady issued an apology to his victims and the wider community.

He will be sentenced in December.