4 Dec 2008

Killer found not guilty by reason of insanity

9:27 pm on 4 December 2008

A man with a history of schizophrenia who killed another man by attacking him with a spade and setting him on fire, has been found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

Matthew Ahlquist, 33, and who was mentally ill for 12 years before the incident in May last year, had only known Colin Moyle a matter of weeks before killing him.

A senior psychiatrist for his defence and another representing the Crown both told a hearing at the High Court in Auckland on Thursday that Mr Ahlquist had a disease of the mind leading up to the death.

The court heard Mr Ahlquist thought he had no choice but to kill Mr Moyle, because he believed the man was controlling him and he was convinced he was demonic.

The judge ruled Mr Ahlquist was unlikely to have been able to tell right from wrong.