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21-year-old Jacob Anthony Hoysted was given life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2044.

Aged care worker sentenced to life for murder of resident

A 21-year-old aged care worker who killed a 70-year-old woman has been handed a life sentence as a Perth court hears details for what was described as "almost the perfect crime".

On November 28, 2022, Jacob Anthony Hoysted murdered Monica Stockdale during a shift at the BaptistCare Bethel aged care centre in Yakamia, Albany, southeast of Perth.

Ms Stockdale was in the facility because she had early-onset dementia and, at the time of her death, was bedridden because of a broken hip.

Caregivers initially thought Ms Stockdale had died peacefully in her sleep as initially recorded, but a suspicious doctor refused to sign her death certificate, leading to an examination.

State prosecutor James Mactaggart told the court the doctor said "it was an unexplained death" and needed to be referred to the coroner.

"Her violent death at the hands of Hoysted may not have been known ... It was almost the perfect crime," he said.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ms Stockdale had suffered a number of injuries. including bruising to the neck, abrasions, and fractured ribs.

Mr Hoysted, then 19-years-old, was interviewed by police and repeatedly denied causing the resident's death before eventually confessing and telling the detectives, "I did it, I did it, I killed Monica. I strangled her."

Mr Mactaggart then described in "chilling detail" to the court what Mr Hoysted did, including a conversation with Ms Stockdale in the hours before her death.

"Monica, we all love you dearly, your family loves you dearly," Mr Hoysted told police.

"If you are in pain I just wanted to say, if it's too much to bear, I think it might be time to go home to your mum and dad.

"We all love and care about you very much."

When asked by police what Mr Hoysted referred to as home, he replied, "by passing away".

The court heard Mr Hoysted straddled Ms Stockdale while she was asleep and used a pillow to try to smother her. He had also wrapped a call bell cord around her neck and "rammed" his knees into her chest before using his hands to snap her neck.

During that time, the call bell – which Ms Stockdale recorded as being incapable of using – went off 10 times, but no one went to check on her.

Mr Mactaggart said that if a staff member had responded and gone to the room, they would have seen what Mr Hoysted was doing.

"Far from passing away peacefully, she suffered a very violent death," Mr Mactaggart said.

"She suffered a cruel and violent death in what must have been an extremely terrifying attack."

The court heard that after murdering Ms Stockdale, Mr Hoysted tried to cover up her death by washing her neck, cleaning the room, and throwing away any incriminating items.

When investigating, police had also found a search history on his phone around the time of the offence that asked questions like, "what is the easiest way to suffocate someone?", "easiest way to tell somebody has passed away", and "do pupils dilate when you die?".

In Mr Hoysted's interview with police, he decided to kill Ms Stockdale because he had been told she was going downhill and thought she was suffering.

"I thought five to 10 minutes was better than three to six months," he said.

"I couldn't handle seeing her in so much pain ... I guess my mind went to a dark place."

Mr Hoysted's lawyer, Simon Freitag SC, said at the time his client believed he was carrying out a "mercy killing", but has now accepted that Ms Stockdale was not suffering as he had thought.

Prosecutors told the court Mr Hoysted had a fixation with the death of others, serial killers, and psychopaths.

However, it was revealed by Mr Freitag that the 21-year-old had been diagnosed with autism and ADHD as a child, later being diagnosed with Cluster B personality disorder.

Mr Freitag said it was "extraordinary" how someone with his history of mental health issues was put in a position of caring for people.

"He has had a long history of issues with his mental health," he said.

"As a young child, he was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD and not that distant from this offending, he spent about nine months in a mental health facility as a result of his aggression and threats towards his own family.

"It seems extraordinary that someone with Mr Hoysted's background was left to care for vulnerable people."

Justice Natalie Whitby sentenced Mr Hoysted to life with a minimum of 22 years in jail, describing his victim as very vulnerable and saying her last moments were "terrifying".

"It is not for you to decide ... if someone should no longer live," Justice Whitby told Mr Hoysted.

He will be eligible for release on parole in 2044.

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One comment

  1. This is an absolutely horrific story, which should NEVER happen.
    It just indicates the lack of proper care being taken in checking possible employee backgrounds. It also clearly indicates the issues I have continually “banged” on about relating to properly skilled & qualified staff required to work in caring for our older people who have very special needs!!!!
    How many more such incidents do we need to experience before some action & good old fashioned common sense, together with some proper, professional expertise is applied !!!!!
    These kings of issues NEVER occurred prior to 1997, when the requirements for aged care staffing & care were all downgraded by the Liberal Government – against all expert advice !!!!!!
    At least the current Federal Government are making some attempts to rectify this situation…..

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