Dixon wanted to plead 'temporary insanity'

Murder accused Antonie Ronnie Dixon allegedly told a prison guard he wanted to plead "temporary insanity" so he would not spend the rest of his life in a mental institution.

Principal corrections officer Darren Farrow told a jury in the High Court at Auckland yesterday he was in charge of Dixon in Paremoremo's "D" block when he was said to have told him of his plan.

The Crown alleges that Dixon, 36, attacked and mutilated Renee Gunbie and Simonne Butler with a samurai sword at Pipiroa, on the Hauraki Plains.

Dixon has denied the attempted murder of the women, and shooting dead James Te Aute at Highland Park in East Auckland in January 2003 as well as a number of other charges.

Mr Farrow was one of three witnesses being called by the Crown to rebut Dixon's claim of insanity.

He said Dixon told him in a number of conversations that God told him to attack the women with a sword and that the man he shot and killed was a gang member.

He also told him he drank a bottle containing P and that in combination with his mental disorder put him "over the edge".

"He mentioned that he wanted to plead temporary insanity rather than full insanity because he did not want to spend the rest of his life in the Mason Clinic," Mr Farrow told prosecutor Richard Marchant.

Mr Farrow said he had not seen Dixon's wide-eyed staring before he went to court.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Barry Hart, Mr Farrow said Dixon had appeared paranoid and complained of bad dreams and hearing voices in his head while in jail.

He said Dixon told him that after the attack on the women he arranged the fingers of a severed hand and drank blood from it.

Psychiatrist Rees Tapsell, who was called for the Crown to rebut defence psychiatric evidence, said he had not been allowed to interview Dixon and had only been granted access to his notes from the Mason Clinic and the prison in the fourth or fifth week of the trial.

He said he had never experienced such a refusal before in his professional career.

Dr Tapsell told Simon Moore, the Auckland Crown Solicitor, that two defence psychiatrists had concluded Dixon was suffering from a disease of the mind and had been for some time before the offences took place.

But Dr Tapsell said he believed Dixon was suffering from a severe personality disorder with significant anti-social and narcissistic personality traits.

A personality disorder was not a disease of the mind as specified under the legal definition of insanity.

The trial continues today.

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