• The 92-year-old victim died in 2019 after she was bashed with her own walking sticks and crockery and stabbed multiple times
  • Her 38-year-old house cleaner admitted to attacking the victim but denied murdering her client
  • The cleaner claimed she had a "blackout" and has no memory of the incident but has since been accused of lying

A cleaner accused of fatally stabbing and bashing a 92-year-old woman in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) in early 2019 told a court she blacked out and has no recollection of the incident.

Hanny Papanicolaou, 38, admitted to attacking Marjorie Welsh in the latter's Ashbury, Sydney, home on Jan. 2, 2019, reported. However, she has been accused of faking memory loss after pleading not guilty to murder and insisting she's only guilty of manslaughter.

Welsh, who was found lying on the kitchen floor that morning, died six weeks later at a hospital, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Papanicolaou bashed Welsh with the latter's own walking sticks to the point that two of them broke, a jury in NSW's Supreme Court heard. The cleaner also smashed crockery into Welsh's head and stabbed her multiple times with a kitchen knife.

Papanicolaou then reportedly cased Welsh's bedroom in an attempt to find a stash of money. She also unplugged Welsh's emergency alarm, which had been activated, and left the scene via the back fence with the elderly woman's phone and the bloody knife, prosecutors alleged.

While Papanicolaou has admitted to attacking Welsh, she denied murdering her client of one year and instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of substantial impairment due to abnormality of the mind, according to

Prior to the attack, Papanicolaou drove her car outside Peace Park, which backed onto Welsh's property, and jumped over the fence to get into the residence, the jury was told.

Papanicolaou claimed that she intended to go into Welsh's house and ask to work, even though she was not scheduled to clean the elderly woman's home that day. She also alleged that she was upset after losing her money gambling and wanted to talk to Welsh, whom she considered her "best friend."

Papanicolaou could not explain why she jumped the fence to get into Welsh's house instead of knocking on the front door. She claimed she had a "blackout" and could not remember anything after being in Peace Park.

"I wake up surrounded by blood, I wake up surrounded by [a] knife... I see Marj in front of the fridge. I have blood in my hand, I have [a] knife in my hand," Papanicolaou told the court while giving evidence Tuesday.

"I just grab the phone. The sound of that machine [made] me open my eyes and get up and I look at what I’m doing... I grab the cloth and I just run away. I just run away," she claimed.

Prosecutors have since accused Papanicolaou of feigning memory loss and lying on the witness stand after she reportedly gave differing versions of events.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Taylor questioned how Papanicolaou could have no memory of the attack when she gave police evidence about Welsh being stabbed in the stomach.

The cleaner initially suggested that an officer had disclosed the detail, but she later admitted that was not the case after being shown a transcript of her police interview.

When asked why she did not help Welsh, Papanicolaou claimed that she knew emergency services was coming due to the elderly woman's alarm.

"I knew that she’s already got help. What I’m just thinking is my son, I’m thinking I want to see my son, I want to see my kid," Papanicolaou said.

However, she could not explain why she had pulled the wires from the alarm box in the living room. She also could not explain why her blood and DNA were found in Welsh's bedroom, where Papanicolaou allegedly attempted to look for cash.

Papanicolaou felt depressed due to marriage problems and lost AUD$430 ($308) while playing poker at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL on the day of the incident. She was left with AUD$11 ($8) in her bank account that day and felt angry and guilty, the court was told.

It was also revealed that Papanicolaou was aware that Welsh sold her previous home at Box Hill for AUD$8 million ($5,730,000).

The trial continues.

Representation. Hanny Papanicolaou, 38, was left with around $8 in her bank account due to gambling on the day she attacked 92-year-old Marjorie Welsh. Pixabay