Insanity assessment in dog mutilation case

Court House-Sept-2013-07A man who allegedly used a knife to mutilate a dog so badly it had to be euthanised has been assessed as insane at the time.

A psychiatric report under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act was prepared for today’s appearance by the 25-year-old man in the Christchurch District Court.

Defence counsel James Rapley said it showed that a defence of temporary insanity was available to the man. That meant there would be a not guilty plea on the grounds of insanity.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said he had read the report, and asked the police for their assessment of it.

Prosecutor Sergeant Grant Neal said the police were happy to accept the findings of the report.

The man appeared in court neatly dressed in a suit and tie. His parents were in court to support him. He has been bailed with a curfew to live at their address during his remand.

The charge alleges he illtreated a dog by kicking it and causing it to die, but it is understood the police allege he also mutilated it with a knife.

The case has now been remanded to Thursday when the judge will consider the report. If he finds that there is sufficient material in the psychiatric report for a finding of temporary insanity, that will trigger a remand for another report.

That second report, also by a psychiatrist, will consider how the case should be “disposed of” – what the treatment options are and whether the man should be placed in secure custody.

Judge O’Driscoll continued the man’s interim name suppression order because of the psychiatric background.




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