Killer to spend 25 years in psychiatric care

A Melbourne man has been ordered to spend 25 years in a psychiatric hospital after being acquitted of the murder of his parents on the grounds of mental impairment. The family is upset that he did not face trial. However, the court heard expert evidence from three independent psychiatrists, who all agreed that the accused was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and that the psychotic episode was not drug-induced. Section 20 of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to Be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic) creates a defence to criminal charges where a person “could not reason with a moderate degree of sense and composure about whether the conduct, as perceived by reasonable people, was wrong”.