Murder-accused not guilty due to insanity

4:02 pm on 1 July 2016

A man who fatally stabbed his mother and tried to kill his father has been found not guilty of murder and attempted murder by reason of insanity.

Suppression orders in the case were lifted by the High Court in Wellington this morning, and it can now be revealed it was Carl Silverwood who killed Helen Silverwood and stabbed Lee Silverwood.

The stabbings occurred at the Silverwoods' home in the Wellington suburb of Churton Park last December.

Evidence was given today by two psychiatrists who examined the accused, and found him to be suffering from a serious mental illness at the time of the stabbings.

Tracey Heads said the illness was most likely schizophrenia, and Mr Silverwood was very ill at the time his mother died.

His thinking was disorganised and chaotic, his mind was fracturing, he was hearing voices and was not sure what was real and what wasn't, Dr Heads said.

Mr Silverwood was reluctant to reveal his symptoms and found it difficult to talk about them, she said.

The other psychiatrist, Justin Barry-Walsh, said at the time he killed his mother, Mr Silverwood had stopped taking his medication and was voicing clearly delusional ideas.

These included the belief his parents were imposters who intended to kill him and that several people had instructed him to kill them, Dr Barry-Walsh said.

Both doctors agreed Mr Silverwood should be detained as a special patient in a mental hospital, as that would allow closer oversight of him when he was released.

Justice Williams made that order and lifted Mr Silverwood's name suppression.

However, he said, it was inappropriate to allow the media to photograph him.