Not guilty verdict in wife murder

AN ELDERLY Northern Rivers man who murdered his wife was yesterday found not guilty on the grounds of mental illness.

NSW Supreme Court Judge Peter Hall ruled the man, who cannot be named under the Mental Health Act, should remain in the hospital wing of Long Bay Jail until other accommodation is found.

Judge Hall said the elderly wheelchair bound grandfather would “only ever be released when the Mental Health Review Tribunal is satisfied ... that his safety and the safety of any member of the public will not be seriously endangered.”

The man, who had been treated for delusions for being suicidal since 2005, killed his wife as she lay in bed believing “she was playin’ up for the bloke next door”.

The man had no prior recorded history with mental illness before 2005.

However in October of that year he was admitted to St Vincent’s Private Hospital for suicidal tendencies after his niece, with whom he was staying at the time, said he became delusional about his wife having an affair.

He was later treated by Community Mental Health Services where a doctor found he had suicidal thoughts “and may act upon these if he could prove (his wife) is seeing another man”.

That year the wife told her daughter her husband had tried to strangle her.

He was put on medication and the symptoms subsided but re-emerged after a short time with the wife again becoming concerned for her safety.



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