Man charged for murder of Sylvania woman asks for mental health assessment

Police at a townhouse complex in Florida Street, Sylvania, where the body of a woman was found. Photo: John Veage
Police at a townhouse complex in Florida Street, Sylvania, where the body of a woman was found. Photo: John Veage

A man who allegedly murdered his mother in a south Sydney townhouse has asked the court for a mental health assessment. 

Nathan Connors, 28, appeared in Newtown Local Court on Tuesday after he was charged following his arrest at St Peters, in the inner west, on Monday.

His 55-year-old mother Lynda Connors' bloodied body was found sprawled in bed inside the Sylvania townhouse she shared with her two children earlier on Monday.

Mr Connors' older brother, Simon, 31, discovered their mother's body at 7am and called emergency services.

In court, Mr Connors' Legal Aid lawyer Deone Provera flagged with the court concerns for his client's welfare.

"I am asking for a mental health assessment," he told the court.

Magistrate Margaret Quinn noted Mr Provera's concerns and adjourned the matter to Sydney's Central Local Court on July 11.

Bail was not applied for and was formally refused. Connors will appear by audiovisual link at his next court appearance.

Mr Connors was stopped by police in his mother's car at St Peters on Monday morning. 

Also in the car was a crossbow, a pitchfork wrapped in a towel and the family dog.

Police said the car's number plate was automatically detected by a passing police car, with an alert advising officers to pull the car over.

The officers arrested Mr Connors and took him to Newtown Police Station, where he was charged on Monday night with his mother's murder.

Friends and neighbours say the mother and two sons were a quiet family who kept to themselves.

However they raised concerns about Mr Connors' mental health, which they claimed had deteriorated recently. 

One woman, who knew Mr Connors since he was a child, said he had started hearing voices in his head over the past year. 

During the same time he had also become withdrawn, rarely leaving his Florida Street home.

"Over the past 12 months he had just fully isolated himself," said the woman, who asked not to be named. 

"Before that he was fine, he had normal conversations and everything.

"He had always been a pretty good kid growing up. He has had a hard life, he only had his mum. It was only Mum and the two boys."

Childhood friend Daniel Ikin-McKinnon said Mr Connors, who went to Sylvania High School, had a serious motorbike crash a few years ago that required him to have a full facial reconstruction.

He was on strong medication in the aftermath.

"He never seemed like the type to do anything like [this]," he said.

"[He was] just like a normal kid to me, we just did what most teenagers do ... hang out [and] do dumb shit that we found fun but nothing extreme. Just kids being kids.

"This would have never been who I thought would do something like this."

Neighbour Kerrin Willis once lived in the same townhouse complex as the family. 

She remembered Ms Connors as a nice, quiet woman.

"I never had a problem with her," she said. 

"She would get out the front of the house on the weekends and clean the front yard. She worked five days a week."

It is understood Ms Connors' body was found wrapped in a blanket, with a significant head injury and covered in blood. 

Miranda Local Area Command Superintendent Michael O'Toole said the older brother was "very distraught" about what had happened.

"He is the one that came across the incident and called police to attend," he said. 

AAP, Ava Benny-Morrison and Rachel Olding

The story, Sydney man charged with mother's murder asks court for mental health assessment, first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.