NZ Local News

Tauranga murder accused’s trial fitness, mental state at time of alleged killing to be explored

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A woman accused of murdering a Tauranga man briefly appeared in the High Court at Tauranga on Wednesday via audio-visual link. Photo / NZME

A judge has called for two reports into the fitness to stand trial of a woman accused of murdering a Tauranga man – and whether she was legally insane at the time of the death.

Police earlier said officers were called to a Tauranga address on the evening of September 7, where they found the man dead.

The accused appeared in the High Court at Tauranga on Wednesday before Justice Neil Campbell via an audio-visual link from a remand centre.

The woman’s name and any identifying details are currently suppressed. She has yet to enter a plea.

Defence lawyer Asta Gold and Tauranga Crown solicitor Anna Pollett told Justice Campbell they agreed two more mental health assessor reports were required.

The lawyers submitted these should explore the defendant’s fitness to stand trial and mental state at the time of the alleged offence.

After reading a summary of the case and an earlier initial report on the accused’s trial fitness, Justice Campbell said in his written decision that he agreed with the lawyers’ submissions.

Justice Campbell made a direction under the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act that the two reports be prepared by separate mental health experts.

Justice Campbell remanded the defendant in custody and scheduled another case review hearing for March 20.

Sandra Conchie is a senior journalist at the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post who has been a journalist for 24 years. She mainly covers police, court and other justice stories, as well as general news. She has been a Canon Media Awards regional/community reporter of the year.

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