Othello syndrome

Oh it’s a syndrome now is it, not a murderous hatred of women but a nice literary syndrome with the prestige of Shakespeare behind it.

A man was experiencing “Othello syndrome”, the baseless belief that his wife was having an affair, when he stabbed her to death on the grounds of a hospital in Sydney’s east, a court has heard.

That’s not a syndrome, it’s misogyny crossed with jealousy and dominance.

Mourad Kerollos is on trial by judge alone in the NSW Supreme Court accused of murdering his wife Gihan Kerollos – known as Gigi – as she left work at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick about 8.30pm on May 18, 2019.

A forensic psychiatrist, Dr Kerri Eagle, examined Mr Kerollos in May 2020 and is expected to tell the trial that he had a major depressive disorder at the time of the stabbing, or a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

“He had delusional beliefs, he had referential ideation, he had auditory hallucinations, and he had a systematised belief associated with morbid jealousy – in the absence of any apparent proof – that his wife was acting as a sex worker and having affairs,” Mr Barrett said.

It’s interesting though how such delusional beliefs track familiar patterns of jealous controlling male behavior toward women they think of as their property.

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