1 Jul 2014

Neighbour frightened of killer, inquest told

5:52 pm on 1 July 2014

The last person to see a mentally ill woman before she killed her neighbour with a hammer was frightened when the woman came to her home just before the attack.

Jolene Tupu Kerepa was giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Diane White. The 53-year-old was hit with a hammer in a frenzied attack at her Hamilton home in January 2010.

Two years later, Christine Morris was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life, with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years. She is a paranoid schizophrenic with a borderline personality disorder.

Ms Tupu Kerepa made calls to the hospital and police because Morris was in her home writing about killing Diane White.

After about 30 minutes, Morris went to Mrs White's home across the road. About five minutes after that, Ms Tupu Kerepa saw her coming back covered in blood.

Ms Tupu Kerepa said at that point, she locked herself in her home because she was very frightened.

Police arrived a short time later and located Morris nearby.

Worker admits she should have called police

Mental health worker Christine Christiansen told the inquest she should have called police after seeing Christine Morris.

Morris escaped from the mental health unit at Waikato Hospital after making threats to kill Mrs White.

Ms Christiansen was Morris' support worker and saw her walking down the road and reported the sighting to the hospital but didn't call police.

Under cross-examination, Ms Christiansen agreed she knew that Morris was unstable and needed restraining immediately. She accepted it would have been more logical to call 111.