Judge orders report for mum who murdered sons

May 23, 2008 - 12:51PM

A judge has ordered a report to assess the mental state of a Melbourne mother found guilty of murdering her two sons.

Donna Fitchett, 49, was yesterday found guilty of murdering her sons Thomas, 11, and Matthew, nine, by drugging, smothering and strangling them at their Balwyn North home.

The Victorian Supreme Court jury heard her then husband David Fitchett discovered their bodies when he returned home from work on the evening of September 6, 2005.

During a pre-sentence hearing today, Justice Geoffrey Nettle ordered a report to assess Fitchett's mental state.

Justice Nettle said the pre-sentence report would obtain a psychiatric opinion on her mental condition and prognosis.

The report would also provide an opinion on whether her mental condition was such that jail would affect her more adversely than someone of ordinary mental health.

Fitchett is in custody at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre but was unable to attend court today due to illness.

Justice Nettle adjourned the case for a further plea hearing at a date to be fixed.