A woman was found not guilty of a stabbing spree in Wellington. The Wellington high court pronounced the woman not guilty of murder as she was suffering from a major mental illness on the day. Medical examiners confirmed that the woman was experiencing paranoid delusions and hallucinations.
The court determined that the woman is not guilty of murder, assault with a weapon and three charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. A 67-year-old man died and four other people were injured in the stabbing spree that happened last year June, reported Newstalk ZB.
The woman also assaulted her doctor assuming he was evil and wanted to poison her. Forensic psychiatrist Dr Justin Barry-Walsh confirmed that she attacked the doctor. Before the attack, she was hallucinating and fearing for her life.
On the day of the alleged attack, she seeks her doctor for help and he referred her to the hospital, reported nzherald.co.nz. The doctors in the hospital tried to give her the medication which she had not taken for months.
The woman is said to have been suffering from mental illness since 2008, confirmed another forensic psychiatrist, Dr Philip Brinded. He also made a statement saying she had spent time committed under mental health legislation.
He said, “At the time of the alleged offence she was recognised as suffering from major mental illness, probably schizoaffective disorder.”
Last year in June she experienced “paranoid delusional beliefs”. She was hearing voices telling her what to do and criticizing her.
Dr. Barry-Walsh interviewed the woman within 48 hours of the incident and she found that the woman failed to “reason with a moderate degree of sense and composure as to the moral wrongness” of actions.
She added, “I found her to be very unwell indeed, very distressed, disorganised.”
He further emphasized the seriousness of the woman’s condition and said, “Unfortunately, whenever she stopped her medication her history shows that over a period of months she becomes extremely unwell.”
Mike Antunovic, the defence attorney, accepted that the woman “was involved and committed the act in relation to each of the five charges.”
A research team, recently, conducted a study on Schizophrenia. The researchers said that the study does not necessarily mean that this will lead to new therapies soon but would give experts a foothold to work toward progress.