NSW loses fight to control mental patient who killed uncle

THE New South Wales Attorney-General has lost an appeal to keep on the state's books a mental patient who killed his own uncle and struck a man in the head with a sledgehammer.

The schizophrenic man, who cannot be identified because of his state of mind, was arrested in 2006 after hitting a man with a sledgehammer and sent to a mental health facility in Caboolture in Queensland.

He escaped and went to NSW to live with his uncle in 2009, later stabbing the man to death.

He was charged with murder but found not guilty because of his state of mind and was sent to the Macquarie Unit at Bloomfield Hospital in Orange.

In September the man gained permission to be transferred back to Caboolture so he could be closer to his family.

The NSW Attorney-General did not oppose the transfer, but sought to maintain the man's status as a forensic patient of NSW - the legal term given to someone found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental illness.

NSW Court of Appeal Judge Margaret Beazley dismissed the appeal, saying the change of hands would not endanger the community.

The man will be gradually be reintroduced to limited levels of community activities around Caboolture - such as TAFE training and working with the Salvation Army - but only under strict supervision and on the advice of psychiatric staff.


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