Coroner recommends changing privacy law in wake of Beggs death

By JO-MARIE BROWN

The flatmate of axe-murderer Lachlan Jones should have been told the 19-year-old was a schizophrenic, the coroner has found.

A report into the death of Malcolm Beggs and Lachlan Jones was released this morning by Auckland coroner Mate Frankovich.

Mr Beggs was axed to death in August 1999 at his home in Henderson after his new flatmate, Jones, failed to take his medication.

Jones was a Waitemata Health outpatient and died in the garage from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The coroner believed Mr Beggs should have been told about his flatmate's mental state and has recommended changing either the Mental Health Act or the Health and Information Privacy Code to alert others in similar circumstances in future.

The report also calls on the Minister of Health to review funding for mental health facilities.

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