Mosta ‘cat killer’ challenges seven-year detention inside mental health facility

Nicholas Grech, the man believed to be responsible for killing the cats in Mosta but cleared of all charges on insanity, challenges his seven-year detention at the Mt. Carmel Mental Health Facility.

Grech, now 44, was sentenced in 2014 to detention at Mount Carmel Hospital for as long as necessary after court-appointed psychiatrists told the courts that he had no criminal intentions during a four-year mock crucifixion of cats and dogs.

Grech is said to have suffered from a weak judgment due to his mental state and was declared insane and therefore not criminally liable.

Grech’s attorney Rachel Tua said her client never posed a threat to society and that his actions were due to him stopping his medication, which resulted in him suffering from schizophrenia.

He has since been held in custody at Mount Carmel Hospital without any means of communication, the lawyer said.

“This arrest is illegal and Grech appears to have recovered with or without cure,” Tua said, presenting medical records stating that Grech cannot be detained without a prospect of release.

Tua asked the courts to hear witnesses who were previously involved in Grech’s psychiatric review to see if there are still reasons for his continued detention.

Habeas Corpus is an appeal in which a person who seeks unlawful detention or detention is brought to trial to review the legality of the arrest. Such cases are always considered urgent.

Grech, an engineer from Mosta, had been charged with animal cruelty, violation of burial grounds, trespassing on religious grounds, blackmailing access to the parish church of Mosta and the chapel of Speranza, and defamation of the Catholic religion. The hangings and crucifixions of dog and cat carcasses around Mosta date back to October 16, 2011, the last case on February 3, 2014. In the last incident, a dog and a cat were found hanging upside down on the side and front of the Mosta Church.

Grech would find dead animals to hang up and accuse it of being his way of “delivering a message against cruelty to animals.”