Murder-suicide mother suffered depression, psychotic episodes, father reveals — (Sunday Telegraph)

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The Sunday Telegraph

By David Murray

September 11, 2011 6:00PM

Beaming for the camera on her wedding day on the Sunshine Coast’s Peregian Beach, Kim Patterson was the picture of happiness / Supplied

A WOMAN’S illness led her to kill her young daughter and then take her own life in front of her son, her family says.

Beaming for the camera on her wedding day on the Sunshine Coast’s Peregian Beach, Kim Patterson was the picture of happiness.

She was marrying the man of her dreams, Oxford educated investment banker Peter Thompson, and would have two beautiful children and amass a multi-million-dollar property portfolio.

But, despite the outwardly idyllic life, she was being treated for psychotic episodes that descended on her like a “dark cloud”, her shattered father has revealed.

Ultimately her illness wiped out almost everything she loved when she killed her talented young daughter, 14, and then took her own life on the Story Bridge in front of her son on Wednesday.

Now her family is left to try to piece together what happened, fearing they may never uncover the full story and knowing that, despite everyone’s efforts to help, it just wasn’t enough.

As mourners continued to lay flowers and offer silent prayers at the Carrington St, Paddington, residence yesterday, and Somerville House schoolmates honoured Sidonie Thompson by wearing black armbands on the hockey and netball fields, Ms Patterson’s father George Patterson told The Sunday Mail: “She would have been due to see the psychologist on the day before, on the Tuesday.

“She was seeing a psychologist once a week. She was also seeing a psychiatrist – he was with the health department, she saw him once a month and he was checking she was taking medication.

“She spent some time in the (psychiatric) ward at the (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital).”

Describing the illness, he said: “It was as though she had this big, black cloud coming over her”.

Ms Patterson, 48, is remembered by those closest to her as a loving and devoted mother who brought happiness to all around her.

She was a frequent volunteer for school duties, including tuckshop, while husband Peter was also known as a model dad who was heavily active in his children’s lives.

But for some time Ms Patterson had been trying to overcome a mental affliction and, to those around her, she appeared to be winning.

She last spoke to her father on Sunday in a regular weekend call, and he now knows not everything was right.

“When I was speaking to her it seemed to be difficult for her to register what I was saying. She seemed to be in a cloud,” he said from his Toowoomba home.

“I’ve seen her like that over a period of time. I’d say she’d been depressed. I don’t understand all these medical terms but I know she had what they call psychotic events where she seemed to become irrational.

“But I thought – and I know Peter was of the same opinion and her psychiatrist was of the opinion – that she was in recovery.”

Read more on this story at The Sunday Mail .