Murder accused unfit for trial
THE man accused of the frenzied stabbing murder of young West End artist Sarah Elston has been found mentally unfit to stand trial.
Police arrested Daniel Garcia Manzano, 29, in June last year, after the brutal killing of 22-year-old Ms Elston at her Highgate Hill unit the night before.
But the Mental Health Court last week heard Manzano has acute paranoid schizophrenia.
He has been placed indefinitely in a secure psychiatric hospital and will face no further court hearings.
Ms Elston was a popular member of West End’s creative community and was well known for her generous nature and her artistic talent.
She had had a brief involvement with Manzano years earlier and had agreed to a catch-up, apparently after being contacted through a social networking site.
Friends said she had been excited about the meeting and had described Manzano as ‘‘crazy, but a good kind of crazy’’.
She was apparently unaware that her old friend was the subject of an involuntary treatment order for schizophrenia and had recently told his mental health worker he wanted to kill someone.
Queensland Health had notified police of the ‘‘non-specific threats’’ but they were unable to prevent the murder.
Last year Queensland Health began two reviews of Manzano’s psychiatric treatment to look at the circumstances surrounding his care and the clinical assessment of the patient.
Calls made by The Courier-Mail to Queensland Health’s Mental Health Unit about the matter were not returned.
STABBING death . . . West End artist Sarah Elston was killed at her Highgate Hill unit.