Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Police could have prevented murder, so could have DHB

“It is time the psychiatric profession took some ownership of these ever increasing tragedies’ and were made accountable when they fail” Graeme Moyle


Police could have prevented murder, so could have DHB.

Police could have prevented murder, independent report finds.

Police could have prevented the death of Diane White by mental health patient Christine Morris, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found in a decision released today.

Christine Morris was a voluntary inpatient receiving respite care in the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre in Hamilton, up until she went absent without leave two hours before killing Diane White in January 2010.

Morris was sentenced to life imprisoned last April with a 10 year non-parole period. She is serving her sentence as special patient in Auckland’s Mason Clinic, a regional Forensic Mental Health Hospital for offenders with serious mental health issues.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman on mental health issues, Graeme Moyle, is dismayed that the Police feel they need to take responsibility for Ms Whites murder.

“Certainly there were shortcomings by the Police in their response to this incident” Mr Moyle said, “however, had clinicians at the Henry Bennett Centre carried out effective risk assessments on this woman and kept her secure, this murder would have been prevented long before the Police became involved”.

“Christine Morris had communicated her intentions to kill Diane White on several previous occasions; she had also threatened to kill a case worker involved in removing a child from her care. These are all indications of potential risk and should have been dealt with appropriately. They were not, allowing Ms Morris the opportunity to bludgeon Diane White to death”.

“The Police have been made the scapegoats for poor clinical judgment and although they have taken it on the chin, should never have been placed in that position in the first place” Mr Moyle said.

“That Morris was a voluntary patient at all is remarkable, considering her severe mental illness complicated in this case by profound deafness. She was not unknown to mental health services, having received treatment for schizophrenia for the best part of 30 years”.

Following Morris’ sentence the Waikato District Health Board issued a statement saying that no one could reasonably have predicted this tragedy.

“That is nonsense” said Mr Moyle, “this death was totally predictable and preventable and it is a disgrace that they pretend it to be otherwise. The most effective means of predicting violence is previous violence or threats of violence”.

“The DHB commissioned an investigation into the circumstances leading up to Diane Whites murder but will not make that report available to the public. The Police have put their hand up for their part in this tragedy, it’s time the Waikato DHB did the same’.

“It is time the psychiatric profession took some ownership of these ever increasing tragedies’ and were made accountable when they fail” Mr Moyle said.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The
America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s...

Elite sport used to feel more like a collective, shared experience. It was our team, composed of people who lived and worked like us. Now, not so much. More>>

 

PM's Press Conference: Red Socks And Secret Tapes

Prime Minister Bill English began his post-cabinet press conference by explaining how well the National Party's annual conference went. He also mentioned today's announcement of changes to the EQC disaster insurance legislation and wished Emirates Team New Zealand well in the America's Cup. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government More Open

International surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog