13 November 2022

UPDATED: 'Distressing': 18-year-old hospital patient charged with murder after patient's death

| Lottie Twyford
police officer

ACT Policing Detective Superintendent in charge of criminal investigations Hall O’Meagher spoke to the media today. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

UPDATED 3:15 pm: Police have confirmed the teenager who has been charged with the murder of a hospital patient was also a patient of the Adult Mental Health Unit at Canberra Hospital.

The 18-year-old alleged murderer and the 38-year-old victim are not believed to have known each other outside of their hospital stay.

ACT Policing Detective Superintendent in charge of criminal investigations Hall O’Meagher said homicide detectives are investigating the incident.

He said those investigations are in the early stages but at this stage, police don’t believe a weapon was involved.

No other staff or patients were injured as a result of the incident.

By the time police arrived at the hospital around midnight, staff were attempting to revive the 38-year-old and the 18-year-old man had been secured in the unit.

Security staff at the hospital helped healthcare workers during the incident.

“Unfortunately, the efforts to keep the [victim] alive were unsuccessful and he died,” Detective Superintendent O’Meagher said.

“Our condolences go out to the family of the victim.”

A post-mortem examination will take place in the coming ways to help police confirm the cause and manner of death.

The death will also be reported to the ACT Coroner, police confirmed.

Emma Davidson

Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson said the incident was distressing. Photo: Region.

In a statement, Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson described the incident as a “distressing situation” for the families of those involved, staff and other patients.

“These sorts of incidents are also felt deeply by the health services staff who are extremely dedicated to caring for their patients, and I know many will be struggling with this news today,” she said.

“Canberra Health Services is doing everything to ensure that patients and staff within the [unit] are supported at this time.”

Canberra Health Services has been contacted for further comment.

outside view of Canberra hospital emergency department

An 18-year-old has been charged with murder after the death of a patient last night. Photo: File.

1:30 pm: An 18-year-old has been charged with murder after the death of a man at The Canberra Hospital last night.

The 38-year-old victim was a patient in the Adult Mental Health Unit at the hospital.

Police were called to the unit at 12:10 am this morning after reports of an alleged assault.

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The Bonner teenager was then arrested by police and transported to the ACT Watch House.

Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing.

It’s unclear whether the 18-year-old was also a patient at the hospital at this time.

He’s expected to face court tomorrow (Monday, 14 November) morning.

More to come.

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