Son who stabbed AFL coach father Phil Walsh to death in frenzied knife attack is back in full detention after decline in his mental health

  • Cy Walsh will be locked down in full detention 
  • Son of AFL coach Phil Walsh’s mental health has deteriorated 
  • He stabbed the Adelaide coach to death in 2015 

The man who stabbed his own father to death while suffering through a severe mental health condition will be locked down in full detention after an apparent decline in his condition.

Cy Walsh, 34, killed his father, former Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, in July 2015.

The courts found Cy to be mentally incompetent with undiagnosed schizophrenia at the time of the shocking attack and the state has since held Mr Walsh in a secure psychiatric facility.

In 2021, he was granted permission to leave the facility for unsupervised day trips into Adelaide, but on Wednesday, Justice Anne Bampton revoked that provision over concerns for Cy’s mental stability.

A more recent photo of Cy Walsh

Cy Walsh is in full detention after his mental health deteriorated, a court has heard

Walsh was sentenced after stabbing his father Phil (left) to death in 2016

Walsh was sentenced after stabbing his father Phil (left) to death in 2016


July 3, 2015 – Cy Walsh is accused of stabbing his father, Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, to death at their Adelaide beachside home.

–  Phil Walsh’s wife Meredith hospitalised with leg injuries

– A knife used in the attack is found at the scene

– Cy Walsh taken to Flinders Medical Centre for psychiatric assessment

– Held in custody at secure psychiatric facility James Nash House in Adelaide

– Extensive forensic, psychiatric and psychological reports presented to court as hearings continue through late 2015

December 2015 – pleads not guilty due to mental incompetence in Adelaide Magistrates Court; committed to stand trial in Supreme Court

August 2016 – prosecutors say they will accept Walsh was mentally incompetent at time of the killing

September 28 – Supreme Court rules Walsh is not guilty of murder because of mental incompetence.

She set a review period of six months to assess Cy’s mental state, with a hearing booked for April 9, 2024.

Lawyer Trish Johnson, appearing for Cy, did not object to the order but noted there was no suggestion her client had offended or breached any conditions of the provision.

‘I would be seeking leave for Your Honour to allow us to contact chambers and seek an early listing should his mental health stabilise earlier than six months,’ she said.

The Crown did not object to Ms Johnson’s request.

Phil Walsh was 55 years old at the time of his death.

Cy resides at the secure James Nash House facility located in Adelaide’s north.

He appeared at Adelaide Supreme Court via video link with a surgical mask covering his face.

Walsh was found not guilty of murdering the former Adelaide Crows coach because of mental incompetence.

He had been accused of the stabbing murder of his father at their family home in Adelaide in July 2015.

Cy Walsh stabbed his father 20 times and at least two of the wounds were fatal, the court heard.

He was not intoxicated by any drugs at the time of the stabbing, Justice Anne Bampton said, accepting the forensic reports.

During the trial, the court found Walsh had undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenia at the time of killing his father at the home in Adelaide’s beachside suburb of Somerton Park. 

The judge found the objective elements of the case were established beyond reasonable doubt.

Walsh, who was 26 at the time, was remanded indefinitely to James Nash House mental health facility in Adelaide’s north-east. 

Two years later, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he was moved to Ashton House where he could receive treatment and was granted permission for closely-supervised community release, which has now been revoked. 

A statement from his mother and Phil Walsh’s wife Meredith was read to the court upon his sentencing, in which she said she would continue to love her son.

‘My heart remains broken. My daughter is also shattered,’ she said.

Walsh was stabbed 20 times in the frenzied attack (pictured with wife Meredith)

Walsh was stabbed 20 times in the frenzied attack (pictured with wife Meredith)

He was the coach of the Adelaide Crows at the time of his death

He was the coach of the Adelaide Crows at the time of his death

‘We now all live the devastating consequences of a mental illness that was not understood.

‘I will continue to love and support my son as his father has always done.’

Phil Walsh played 122 games for Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears between 1983 and 1990.

Following assistant coach stints at Port Adelaide and West Coast, he took over as Crows head coach in 2015, recording seven wins from 12 games until his death halfway through the season.