23 Jan 2019

Whanganui stabbing: Psychiatric report sought for accused

4:54 pm on 23 January 2019

A judge has asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared on a 36-year-old man accused of the stabbing rampage in Whanganui yesterday.

The man accused of stabbing six people in Whanganui. The judge ordered his face must be pixelated.

The man accused of stabbing six people in Whanganui. The judge ordered his face must be pixelated. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

One person died and five others were injured during the incident at a property on Wicksteed Street and the neighbouring New World supermarket carpark.

Richard Leith, Counsel for the defendant, told the court his client had mental health issues and was on medication.

Mr Leith applied for a section 38 to ascertain whether insanity was available as a defence and whether his client was fit to plead or stand trial.

Judge Chris Sygrove approved the application and remanded the man in custody.

He granted the man interim name suppression and ordered him to reappear on 11 February.

Media were ordered to pixelate images of the man because of his mental health issues.

The accused, who appeared in a full-length smock of a heavy quilted material, stared at the ground throughout his brief appearance.

'It's quite sobering' - locals shocked at attack

A resident who was in the area during the attack said he felt disturbed that it could happen there.

"All I saw when I was walking past was someone lying on the ground.

"I saw cops and a lot of people near this woman, trying to assist her and bring her back to life.

"I feel a bit, like, disturbed. I'd describe this neighbourhood as really nice, calm."

A local man who drove past said he saw injured people at the scene yesterday.

"I saw a man, tallish man with a whole lot fo blood coming down from his back.

"He had his shirt off and it looked like he had a cut down his back - I don't know if that was, like, from a wound that was dripping down.

"I saw a whole lot of people gathered around which I guess there was someone on the ground injured.

"It's quite sobering actually in hindsight, looking back, to think this is happening in our town of Whanganui."