Insanity plea over wife’s mur­der


‘‘The only rea­son­able ver­dict is not guilty by way of insanity’’

A Taupo man who stabbed his wife to death can­not be found guilty of mur­der due to insanity, a court has heard.

That was the po­si­tion adopted by both the Crown and Si­mon Frank’s de­fence lawyer at a hear­ing on Wed­nes­day at the High Court in Ro­torua.

Frank was charged with the homi­cide of his wife Pe­tra Frank after stab­bing her to death in Taupo on April 15.

How­ever, Crown lawyer Amanda Gor­don said a sec­ond psy­chi­atric re­port into Frank re­vealed ’’the only rea­son­able ver­dict is not guilty by way of insanity’’.

Jus­tice Ti­mothy Brewer also re­ferred to the med­i­cal re­port, say­ing it ‘‘con­tains opin­ion that Mr Frank was in­sane at the time of the homi­cide. The Crown ac­cepts the only proper out­come in this case is a judge find­ing Mr Frank not guilty by way of insanity’’.

Brewer sched­uled a judge alone hear­ing for Oc­to­ber 24 to fi­nalise the insanity ver­dict.

Frank, who ap­peared via Au­dio Vis­ual Link, was re­manded to re­main at Waikato Hospi­tal’s Henry Ron­go­mau Ben­nett Cen­tre.

The Franks had lived in Welling­ton, where Pe­tra Frank, 58, was a kinder­garten teacher.

She worked most re­cently at Pau­ata­hanui Preschool, Porirua, where she was de­scribed as a re­spected and im­por­tant per­son.

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