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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news