Friday, September 5, 2008

Tomahawk murder accused 'unfit' for trial

A 14-YEAR-old boy accused of the tomahawk murder of Sydney social worker John McCann will claim he was suffering mental illness and is not fit to stand trial, a court has been told.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, today appeared for the first time in the New South Wales Supreme Court, charged with Mr McCann's murder.

He and his mother, 50, are accused of stabbing Mr McCann to death with weapons including knives and a tomahawk.

The body of Mr McCann, 61, was discovered at his Schofields home, in Sydney's north-west, on New Year's Day this year.

Nick Velcic, solicitor for the teenager, told Justice Graham Barr preliminary psychiatric assessment suggested he was cognitively impaired.

"(The psychiatrist) would be of the view that the young person is both not fit (to stand trial) and had been suffering mental illness at the time of the offence," Mr Velcic said.

Further cognitive tests were needed to determine the extent of the impairment, he said.

The boy's mother was still the subject of committal proceedings in the Penrith Local Court, Justice Barr was told. If she were also ordered to face a Supreme Court trial, Mr Velcic said, it would make sense for the matters to be heard together.

The boy's case was adjourned to the same court on October 3.


Latest Posts

Latest Comments