Sickness at the heart of a terrible deed

THE events surrounding the Garry Angus murder hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday are sure to generate emotion in this community.

Some will be angered that Antony Duguid’s mental-impairment plea resulted in a not guilty verdict.  Some will deem the verdict acceptable given the mental health issues highlighted in the evidence.

Others will be confused by how someone who stabbed a person more than 30 times could be found not guilty.

The verdict will bring little comfort to  the Angus family. They have lost a loved one in horrendous circumstances. The emotion they displayed in court after yesterday’s verdict was totally understandable.

Antony Duguid is sick.

The court heard of his long history of paranoid schizophrenia and the prosecution and Justice Elizabeth Curtain accepted he was “acutely psychotic” at the time of killing Garry Angus.

Justice Curtain said Duguid’s mental impairment meant he had no idea what he was doing was wrong.

But the evidence also stated Duguid had decided to stop taking his medication a few weeks before committing this act.

Those living in Bendigo in 1994 will see a disturbing similarity in this case with that of William Miller, who stabbed Mary Katai more than 30 times in an antique store near the Alexandra Fountain in the central business district. Miller was jailed.

Countless other serious crimes have been committed by people after deciding to abandon their medication.

So what is being done to prevent this? What measures need to be put in place to reduce such incidents?

What is being done about the issue of drug psychosis? This not guilty verdict surely raises questions which the Angus family and the community need answered.

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