28 Aug 2012

Dixon delusional day of death - pyschiatrist

5:54 am on 28 August 2012

A psychiatrist who met with convicted murderer Antonie Dixon at Auckland Prison the day he died has told an inquest Dixon believed prison staff were trying to kill him.

Dixon, 40, was found dead in his cell on 4 February 2009 while awaiting sentence for the murder of a service station attendant and severing the hands of two women with a samurai sword in 2003.

Dr Krishna Pillay met Dixon the day before he died, at which time the prisoner had been physically restrained on a tie-down bed in the prison's at-risk unit after attempting to strangle himself and banging his head.

Dr Pillay told the Coroner on Monday that Dixon was in a poor physical state and suffering from delirium.

The following day he met again Dixon who spoke of delusions in which prison staff were trying to kill him and he would be dead by the following morning, the day he was to be sentenced.

Dr Pillay said he considered the possibility that Dixon should be admitted to a mental health unit, but noted that he was safely housed within the at-risk unit at the prison.

Dixon was found dead in his cell later that day.

Camera covered

The inquest heard earlier the sole CCTV camera in Dixon's cell had been covered with wet toilet paper.

The prison guard, who has name suppression, said he reported the camera was blocked at about 4pm.

He said the camera remained obscured until Dixon was found dead in his cell just after 9pm.

Detective Sergeant Richard Armstrong said Dixon's fatal injuries were self-inflicted and no other parties were involved.

He said blood splatters on the cell door suggested Dixon deliberately ran at the door and hit his head. A torn cloth was tied around his neck.

Brother's request denied

Earlier, Coroner Garry Evans turned down a request by Dixon's brother, seeking to avoid publication of the evidence.

Julian Dixon said he was concerned media coverage of the hearing would create a spectacle, and he would have no control of was reported.

Mr Dixon also said a previous coroner told him the hearing could be carried out in a closed court.

Mr Evans told Mr Dixon this kind of hearing must be heard in open court and declined his application.

The hearing is set down for three days.