25 Sep 2013

Murder accused has mental illness

3:29 pm on 25 September 2013

A High Court judge says a man accused of murdering a woman and seriously injuring her husband has been suffering from schizophrenia.

Max Allen McGowan appeared briefly in the High Court in Auckland where his lawyer Sheila McCabe indicated she would be considering an insanity defence.

Justice Brewer said Mr McGowan had suffered from schizophrenia for some years. He said medical experts would examine Mr McGowan to determine whether or not he was insane at the time of the incidents.

The judge said a trial could be avoided if experts found he was insane and a judge agreed.

Justice Brewer remanded Mr McGowan in custody to the Mason Clinic until November.

Police found Mr McGowan hours after the body of a woman was discovered in a Titirangi home two weeks ago.

Her husband was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.