Insane killer's mother sought medical help

By Joanne Carroll

Chand believed he had cervical cancer and could hear the voice of a girl named "Pauline" in his head. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Chand believed he had cervical cancer and could hear the voice of a girl named "Pauline" in his head. Photo / Paul Estcourt

The mother of Christie Marceau's insane killer desperately tried to get help for her son while he was on bail.

Akshay Chand was found not guilty of murder by insanity this week. He stabbed the teenager to death two months after he was granted bail on charges of kidnapping and assaulting her.

Court documents show Suchita Chand took her son to her family doctor twice after his release.

Within days she took him to Ajay Makal at the Byron Medical Centre in Takapuna. He prescribed 20mg of Citalopram, an antidepressant.

Two weeks later Chand's mental health declined and she took him back to the doctor who upped Chand's medication to 30mg and advised a course run by the District Health Board Mental Health Service.

It is unclear whether a place was available but Chand did not attend the course.

Steve Clerk, chair of the Auckland branch of Supporting Families in Mental Illness, said GPs were not trained mental health specialists.

"GPs are totally ignorant of mental illness. People get fobbed off because doctors don't want families to know what concerns they might have and that's down to the Privacy Act."

President of Supporting Families in Mental Illness John van der Heyden said he would raise the Christie Marceau case when he met officials from the Ministry of Health this week.

While on bail, Chand played video games at home. His mother hid knives and worried he would harm someone else or himself.

His relationship with his sister deteriorated after an argument. She became so fearful for her own safety that she stayed with friends while he was on bail.

The court heard how Chand believed he had cervical cancer and could hear the voice of a girl named "Pauline" in his head.

Born in Fiji, Chand moved to New Zealand with his parents aged 4. At 8, the family moved to Wales for a year. Chand's parents separated and he returned to Auckland with his mother and sister. He did not have much contact with his father.

In the year leading up to Christie's kidnapping, Chand had failed his last year at school, lost weight and gave large amounts of money to Christie. When she tried to return the money and broke off contact he became angry.

- Herald on Sunday

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