A man tried to murder his aunt at her Ulverstone home after voices in his head told him to become a serial killer.

Dylan John Cruse, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to murder his 44-year-old aunt, Sandra Harding, in the Supreme Court in Hobart on Friday.

Cruse stabbed his aunt in the neck on December 23 in the Russell Avenue home he had been staying at after ingesting a significant amount of drugs and alcohol.

The court heard Cruse entered his aunt’s house, grabbed a knife from her kitchen and approached her from behind while she was sitting in an arm chair.

Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates said Cruse covered Ms Harding’s mouth and stabbed her in the neck as forcefully as he could, before fleeing the home, leaving the knife embedded in her neck. He said Cruse thought his aunt was dead when he fled.

Mr Coates said the two-centimetre neck gash she suffered did not require suitures and her injuries were not life threatening.

The court heard Ms Harding had Huntington’s disease, and required help to leave the house.

Mr Coates said Cruse had ingested alcohol and cannabis and “had a taste” of the drug ice prior to the stabbing.

He said Cruse intended to kill another woman in the early hours of December 23, but “didn’t have the guts” to do it while at her house.

Mr Coates said Cruse’s plans to kill her with a knife he had taken from her kitchen were interrupted when the pair ran into a mutual friend while walking to the beach.He then went to his aunt’s home, where he stabbed her just after 4am.

Cruse’s lawyer, Katie Edwards, said her client struggled to understand why he had stabbed his aunt.

Ms Edwards said Cruse had an IQ of 64 and a history of psychotic episodes occurring while under the influence of cannabis.

Ms Edwards urged the sentence to take into account that Cruse had made full admissions and likely had an underlying mental health issue. Justice Helen Wood remanded Cruse in custody until his June 16 sentencing.

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