The Balclutha man who killed his wife by stabbing and cutting her with a knife will be detained in hospital after being found not guilty of murder because he was insane.
In the High Court at Dunedin yesterday, Timothy Too Aleni (49) pleaded not guilty, on the grounds of insanity, to murdering Lusi Aleni-Faamoe Ioane at Balclutha on October 3 last year.
He was formally declared to have been insane at the time of the incident and detained as a special patient under the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.
The summary, from Crown counsel Craig Power, said the injuries received by the victim were non-survivable.
Spoken to, Aleni refused to make a statement but commented to police "what's done was done".
About 9.30am on October 3, the victim was at home in the bathroom when Aleni approached from behind with a knife and repeatedly stabbed and cut her.
Minutes later, police received a 111 call from Aleni who said he had killed his wife with a knife.
When police arrived, Aleni was waiting outside. He had blood on his face, hands, shoes and clothing. He said the blood was his wife's and the knife was inside the house in a cupboard under a towel.
The victim had 17 stab or cutting wounds.
It was pathologist Doctor Martin Sage's opinion the injuries would have led to loss of blood pressure and the collapse of the victim within a few seconds at most. She died as a result of blood loss.
Aleni and the victim had been married since 1995. They had six sons.
In 2007, the victim began working at a retirement home in Milton where the family then lived. In 2009, the family moved to Balclutha.
While the victim worked at the rest-home, Aleni would drop her off. During the freezing works off-season he would be seen sleeping in the family van outside the rest-home. He would often ring the home and ask to speak to his wife, and ask where she was if she was even a few minutes late. She appeared frightened of him.
In 2010, she left the rest-home to work at the freezing works, where Aleni wanted her to work.
After Boxing Day that year, the victim told her mother-in-law Aleni thought she was having an affair. The victim giggled about it and thought it was stupid.
Aleni would go along when the victim went out with girlfriends. He would often telephone for her. She had to get permission to use her bank accounts.
In January last year, Aleni threatened a friend with a knife alleging the man was having an affair with his wife. That was not so.
In another incident, Aleni locked the victim in a bedroom and she told her mother-in-law she wanted to get away from him. She appeared terrified.
Also early last year, Aleni telephoned a son and talked about killing himself. He did not believe the victim loved him any more and said she was cheating on him. Again, that was not so.
Because of family concern, mental health workers became involved and Aleni was admitted to hospital in February.
At the, time he was agitated and having delusions that his wife was unfaithful. Medical notes said those beliefs had intensified over the past two years. Antipsychotic medication was prescribed and Aleni was discharged from the acute psychiatric ward on February 22.
One family member described him as aggressive towards family when not medicated.
In the weeks leading up to October 3, the victim rang a son and asked him to speak to Aleni. She asked that Aleni take his medication and she said she wanted to get away. Aleni had not been taking his medication. He said he would.
On the evening of October 2, the victim was at home talking to a son's girlfriend. Aleni forced the door open and asked why they were talking with the door shut. The girlfriend said the behaviour was not unusual.
About 9.30am on October 3, Aleni and the victim argued. Soon after, the son's girlfriend heard a thump, followed about five minutes later by Aleni saying "Mum, Mum" - the name he called the victim.
Justice Gendall said reports from consultant psychiatrist Dr Stephanie du Fresne and consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr John Paul Jacques established Aleni was suffering paranoid schizophrenia.
Acknowledging the family's presence and recognising the grief and anguish they would be under, the judge told them the finding of not guilty on the grounds of insanity did not mean Aleni would be released into the community.
In the interest of public safety he would be detained in a secure therapeutic environment and released only if he became well again and no risk to anyone else.
An Ioane family spokesperson later told the Otago Daily Times the family was shocked.
"It's all quite overwhelming at the moment."