Not guilty of murder by reason of mental illness

IrishPete 23 August 2013 45

If you want an insight into why ACT courts are so slow, and also therefore expensive, have a read of this.

Mr Aranyi killed his mother, he was mentally ill at the time, but it takes the finest legal minds in the ACT 16 months to come to that conclusion.

The Judge’s torturous reasoning for his decision also seems to demonstrate some very poor law-making.

Apparently there is no room in the ACT’s criminal justice system for accepting the patently obvious, and quickly.

It also seems Mr Aranyi has been sitting in prison since his arrest, and may yet stay in prison for some time.


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45 Responses to Not guilty of murder by reason of mental illness
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IrishPete IrishPete 9:38 am 29 Aug 13

When it becomes a point scoring exercise (like the ED waiting times forged data) everyone hunkers down in their trenches and nothing changes. A cross-party inquiry into mental health services would be a better option.

IP

bundah bundah 9:16 am 29 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

Hopefully someone sues ACTMH over this. It’s the only way to get them to change.

I would’ve thought that this would be an opportunity for Jeremy Hanson to try and score some points?

IrishPete IrishPete 12:09 am 29 Aug 13

bundah said :

@ IP

From R v Aranyi (No2) we have this which reveals how utterly negligent mental health were by not responding immediately to her pleas for help.

The next point to be noted is that Mr Aranyi had suffered from a severe mental illness over many years, probably from when he was aged 12 or 13 years. As it happened, by an application dated 22 February 2012, which was received by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal on 29 February 2012, Mr Aranyi’s mother sought an order that Mr Aranyi’s mental health be assessed because she feared for her safety at his hands. Accordingly, on 23 March 2012 an order was made by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal that Mr Aranyi attended the Woden Mental Health Service in Philip in the ACT on 2 April 2012 for an assessment of his mental health. Then, on 1 April 2012 Mr Aranyi’s mother hand delivered a letter dated 1 April 2012 written by her, again expressing her fear for her safety at the hands of her son, together with some pages of disjointed and rambling writings written by Mr Aranyi, to Dr Cynthia Wilson at the Woden Mental Health Service. It is the tragic fact that it was her desire that her son attend the appointment at the Woden Mental Health Service on 2 April 2012 for an assessment of his mental health which led to her death.

Ta. There are other details which the judge has not included, and which I therefore can’t really dislcose.

Hopefully someone sues ACTMH over this. It’s the only way to get them to change.

IP

bundah bundah 7:20 pm 28 Aug 13

@ IP

From R v Aranyi (No2) we have this which reveals how utterly negligent mental health were by not responding immediately to her pleas for help.

The next point to be noted is that Mr Aranyi had suffered from a severe mental illness over many years, probably from when he was aged 12 or 13 years. As it happened, by an application dated 22 February 2012, which was received by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal on 29 February 2012, Mr Aranyi’s mother sought an order that Mr Aranyi’s mental health be assessed because she feared for her safety at his hands. Accordingly, on 23 March 2012 an order was made by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal that Mr Aranyi attended the Woden Mental Health Service in Philip in the ACT on 2 April 2012 for an assessment of his mental health. Then, on 1 April 2012 Mr Aranyi’s mother hand delivered a letter dated 1 April 2012 written by her, again expressing her fear for her safety at the hands of her son, together with some pages of disjointed and rambling writings written by Mr Aranyi, to Dr Cynthia Wilson at the Woden Mental Health Service. It is the tragic fact that it was her desire that her son attend the appointment at the Woden Mental Health Service on 2 April 2012 for an assessment of his mental health which led to her death.

bundah bundah 2:28 pm 26 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

Fortunately people can’t be put in prison because they present a risk to the community. Unfortunately(?) they actually have to have done something illegal first

Which is precisely why it is imperative that those in power that are supposed to be representing the community need to be proactive and sort out mental health once and for all. No one wants to become a victim of someone who’s not in their right mind.

IrishPete IrishPete 12:59 pm 26 Aug 13

Nursey said :

You think things are bad now? You wait for a year or two, the mental health system in the ACT is fast approaching crisis point. Soon there will not be enough nursing staff to maintain people in the community, the wards are already overstretched, the new assessment unit is becoming a holding pen, and more and more services are being delegated to external agencies run by unqualified staff. Soon there will be no option but jail for the mentally ill who present with any risk issues..

Although some nurses are needed to work in community teams (to handle medications), there are three other professions who commonly do too – social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists. Perhaps if more of these were employed in the hospital units, there might be more nurses available to work in the community teams?

But I am probably clutching at straws – if there is a workforce shortage, then the government should be addressing it, e.g. by funding people through the necessary degrees (scholarships, that bind you to work for them for X years after qualifying; these can be a very very cheap way of obtaining staff).

If there aren’t enough positions, then that’s harder, because management need to be convinced of that, and to find funds. Prison isn’t free either.

Fortunately people can’t be put in prison because they present a risk to the community. Unfortunately(?) they actually have to have done something illegal first

IP

Stevian Stevian 10:32 am 26 Aug 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

IrishPete said :

CNG – stop trolling. There is a more than a subtle difference between saying someone “lock him up and throw away the key” and someone saying “No one is saying he should be free to walk the streets ffs”. I think you can take the “ffs” to mean the responder was somewhat contemptuous of your statement.

When you talk about lack of consequences for someone who kills because they are mentally ill, you demonstrate no understanding of the purpose of the criminal justice system, nor of mental illness and the mental health system.

The principles on which the CJS operates require people to be rational – they need to be capable of being deterred from doing stuff before they do it (general deterrence), deterred by being punished (specific or individual deterrence), they need to be capable of being rehabilitated from offending, and they need to be capable of being incapacitated (locked up). Someone like Mr Aranyi only ticks the last box.

Perhaps the people who should be locked up and the key thrown away are the ones who, Bundah rightly points out, failed Aranyi’s mother by their inaction. There is a pattern of this behaviour in ACT Mental Health (and to be fair, in other States and Territories and countries too, where there is less individual scrutiny because the cases are more common), with Jonathan Crowley being another well-known example. He should have been hospitalised the day before he was shot by police. Procrastination in the Crowley case and the Aranyi case had serious consequences. But not for the mental health system which trundles along, as if nothing ever happened.

These cases, and many many others less well known, require inquests, not adversarial court cases, to establish what happened, and learn from the mistakes.

IP

Trust me, ip. If I was trolling, you would never be able to tell.

I am 100% not trolling here. I am just commenting on what has been posted, and you have just posted for the third time in a row that you believe mentally ill peeps should be able to kill without consequence.

I agree, the system is messed up, but if you kill somebody, you need to be held accountable, regardless of mental illness or drug abuse.

You’re not a lawyer. thankfully

Nursey Nursey 7:17 am 26 Aug 13

You think things are bad now? You wait for a year or two, the mental health system in the ACT is fast approaching crisis point. Soon there will not be enough nursing staff to maintain people in the community, the wards are already overstretched, the new assessment unit is becoming a holding pen, and more and more services are being delegated to external agencies run by unqualified staff. Soon there will be no option but jail for the mentally ill who present with any risk issues..

bundah bundah 9:15 pm 25 Aug 13

DrKoresh said :

What is with you Momma’s boys? Being a mother doesn’t preclude you from being an awful human being.

Not in the case of the OP, but in the case you’re describing you seem to be brushing aside some pretty concerning pieces of information.

Yes according to the judgement Nanette Porritt was unreasonably domineering and had a controlling approach to discipline. Apparently she was,at times, abusive and callous when the children played up and unreasonably punished them. However it is apparent that her husband Keith Porritt allowed her to get away with this type of behaviour which I consider to be rather pathetic.

So it is reasonable to say that the dynamic in the family was dysfunctional and Nanette Porritt was at times not a good mother. Does that justify stabbing her to death after not having had any contact with her for over 12 months? I hardly think so but by the tone of your response I can’t help feeling that you have some underlying resentment towards mothers.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 6:37 pm 25 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

bundah said :

Silentforce said :

By coincidence, a Google search reveals that a person of the same name appears in the Australian Public Service Gazette No. PS01 – 05 Jan 2012.

I know i’m going on about this but what Porritt did to his mother was truly brutal and horrific and absolutely disgusted me. When I read that CJ Higgins sentenced him to 5 years and released him immediately after having spent 22 months behind bars I was stunned and bloody angry. Yes she was a strict disciplinarian and at times mean to her children but to stab one’s mother 57 times, killing her, makes him the biggest POS in my eyes. But for Higgins to do what he did was absolutely reprehensible and spoke volumes of his deranged, sick values re human life and that he was not fit to be a judge.

Mr Higgins has family members who are involved in the mental health and criminal justice systems, and he may be a lot more “sympathetic” than he should be.

IP

Any potential conflict of interest issues there when he is at work? Not an accusation by any means.

DrKoresh DrKoresh 6:31 pm 25 Aug 13

bundah said :

Silentforce said :

By coincidence, a Google search reveals that a person of the same name appears in the Australian Public Service Gazette No. PS01 – 05 Jan 2012.

I know i’m going on about this but what Porritt did to his mother was truly brutal and horrific and absolutely disgusted me. When I read that CJ Higgins sentenced him to 5 years and released him immediately after having spent 22 months behind bars I was stunned and bloody angry. Yes she was a strict disciplinarian and at times mean to her children but to stab one’s mother 57 times, killing her, makes him the biggest POS in my eyes. But for Higgins to do what he did was absolutely reprehensible and spoke volumes of his deranged, sick values re human life and that he was not fit to be a judge.

What is with you Momma’s boys? Being a mother doesn’t preclude you from being an awful human being. Not in the case of the OP, but in the case you’re describing you seem to be brushing aside some pretty concerning pieces of information.

IrishPete IrishPete 6:22 pm 25 Aug 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Trust me, ip. If I was trolling, you would never be able to tell.

I am 100% not trolling here. I am just commenting on what has been posted, and you have just posted for the third time in a row that you believe mentally ill peeps should be able to kill without consequence.

I agree, the system is messed up, but if you kill somebody, you need to be held accountable, regardless of mental illness or drug abuse.

At no point have I said that anyone should not have consequences for killing someone. That is twisting and misinterpreting my statements. You seem to think that the only consequence is prison, and in doing so, you misunderstand the purpose of prison.

Being under the control of the mental health Tribunal, and through it the public mental health service, for 20 years or more, is a consequence. Try it, and you’ll find it is not a lot of fun.

Introducing drug abuse to the discussion is a red herring and irrelevant. Kinda like trolling, funnily enough.

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 6:14 pm 25 Aug 13

bundah said :

IrishPete said :

Perhaps the people who should be locked up and the key thrown away are the ones who, Bundah rightly points out, failed Aranyi’s mother by their inaction. There is a pattern of this behaviour in ACT Mental Health (and to be fair, in other States and Territories and countries too, where there is less individual scrutiny because the cases are more common), with Jonathan Crowley being another well-known example. He should have been hospitalised the day before he was shot by police. Procrastination in the Crowley case and the Aranyi case had serious consequences. But not for the mental health system which trundles along, as if nothing ever happened.

Exactly and call me cynical but the aim of any pollie, apart from ostensibly doing the right thing by the community, is to guarantee their political future. There is no question that mental health, policing and the justice system needs substantial additional resources to operate effectively however the geniuses in power say that there are insufficient funds to enable this process. Well there are times, as unpopular as it might be, where the gummint needs to step up and enlighten the community that in order to get the appropriate level of resources then they have little option but to increase taxes.

Throwing more money at a broken system won’t necessarily fix it. There is a lot that could be done better without 1c more in funding.

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 6:12 pm 25 Aug 13

bundah said :

Silentforce said :

By coincidence, a Google search reveals that a person of the same name appears in the Australian Public Service Gazette No. PS01 – 05 Jan 2012.

I know i’m going on about this but what Porritt did to his mother was truly brutal and horrific and absolutely disgusted me. When I read that CJ Higgins sentenced him to 5 years and released him immediately after having spent 22 months behind bars I was stunned and bloody angry. Yes she was a strict disciplinarian and at times mean to her children but to stab one’s mother 57 times, killing her, makes him the biggest POS in my eyes. But for Higgins to do what he did was absolutely reprehensible and spoke volumes of his deranged, sick values re human life and that he was not fit to be a judge.

Mr Higgins has family members who are involved in the mental health and criminal justice systems, and he may be a lot more “sympathetic” than he should be.

IP

bundah bundah 5:20 pm 25 Aug 13

Silentforce said :

By coincidence, a Google search reveals that a person of the same name appears in the Australian Public Service Gazette No. PS01 – 05 Jan 2012.

I know i’m going on about this but what Porritt did to his mother was truly brutal and horrific and absolutely disgusted me. When I read that CJ Higgins sentenced him to 5 years and released him immediately after having spent 22 months behind bars I was stunned and bloody angry. Yes she was a strict disciplinarian and at times mean to her children but to stab one’s mother 57 times, killing her, makes him the biggest POS in my eyes. But for Higgins to do what he did was absolutely reprehensible and spoke volumes of his deranged, sick values re human life and that he was not fit to be a judge.

Silentforce Silentforce 3:31 pm 25 Aug 13

Apologies – a conviction of unlawful homicide was recorded against Mr Porritt.

Silentforce Silentforce 3:17 pm 25 Aug 13

BimboGeek #6 – Agree.
Deficiencies in the ACT Mental Health system not only affect ACT locals and their families (most of whom are not trained or equipped to manage friends and relatives with MH issues; their impotence also has international repercussions as demonstrated in the case of Adrian Richardson who rammed the front gate at the US Embassy in July this year. Making world-wide news for all the wrong reasons

IrishPete #14
As Glen Porritt did not receive a criminal conviction, he could be living/working anywhere. By coincidence, a Google search reveals that a person of the same name appears in the Australian Public Service Gazette No. PS01 – 05 Jan 2012.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 1:48 pm 25 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

CNG – stop trolling. There is a more than a subtle difference between saying someone “lock him up and throw away the key” and someone saying “No one is saying he should be free to walk the streets ffs”. I think you can take the “ffs” to mean the responder was somewhat contemptuous of your statement.

When you talk about lack of consequences for someone who kills because they are mentally ill, you demonstrate no understanding of the purpose of the criminal justice system, nor of mental illness and the mental health system.

The principles on which the CJS operates require people to be rational – they need to be capable of being deterred from doing stuff before they do it (general deterrence), deterred by being punished (specific or individual deterrence), they need to be capable of being rehabilitated from offending, and they need to be capable of being incapacitated (locked up). Someone like Mr Aranyi only ticks the last box.

Perhaps the people who should be locked up and the key thrown away are the ones who, Bundah rightly points out, failed Aranyi’s mother by their inaction. There is a pattern of this behaviour in ACT Mental Health (and to be fair, in other States and Territories and countries too, where there is less individual scrutiny because the cases are more common), with Jonathan Crowley being another well-known example. He should have been hospitalised the day before he was shot by police. Procrastination in the Crowley case and the Aranyi case had serious consequences. But not for the mental health system which trundles along, as if nothing ever happened.

These cases, and many many others less well known, require inquests, not adversarial court cases, to establish what happened, and learn from the mistakes.

IP

Trust me, ip. If I was trolling, you would never be able to tell.

I am 100% not trolling here. I am just commenting on what has been posted, and you have just posted for the third time in a row that you believe mentally ill peeps should be able to kill without consequence.

I agree, the system is messed up, but if you kill somebody, you need to be held accountable, regardless of mental illness or drug abuse.

bundah bundah 1:48 pm 25 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

Perhaps the people who should be locked up and the key thrown away are the ones who, Bundah rightly points out, failed Aranyi’s mother by their inaction. There is a pattern of this behaviour in ACT Mental Health (and to be fair, in other States and Territories and countries too, where there is less individual scrutiny because the cases are more common), with Jonathan Crowley being another well-known example. He should have been hospitalised the day before he was shot by police. Procrastination in the Crowley case and the Aranyi case had serious consequences. But not for the mental health system which trundles along, as if nothing ever happened.

Exactly and call me cynical but the aim of any pollie, apart from ostensibly doing the right thing by the community, is to guarantee their political future. There is no question that mental health, policing and the justice system needs substantial additional resources to operate effectively however the geniuses in power say that there are insufficient funds to enable this process. Well there are times, as unpopular as it might be, where the gummint needs to step up and enlighten the community that in order to get the appropriate level of resources then they have little option but to increase taxes.

IrishPete IrishPete 1:01 pm 25 Aug 13

CNG – stop trolling. There is a more than a subtle difference between saying someone “lock him up and throw away the key” and someone saying “No one is saying he should be free to walk the streets ffs”. I think you can take the “ffs” to mean the responder was somewhat contemptuous of your statement.

When you talk about lack of consequences for someone who kills because they are mentally ill, you demonstrate no understanding of the purpose of the criminal justice system, nor of mental illness and the mental health system.

The principles on which the CJS operates require people to be rational – they need to be capable of being deterred from doing stuff before they do it (general deterrence), deterred by being punished (specific or individual deterrence), they need to be capable of being rehabilitated from offending, and they need to be capable of being incapacitated (locked up). Someone like Mr Aranyi only ticks the last box.

Perhaps the people who should be locked up and the key thrown away are the ones who, Bundah rightly points out, failed Aranyi’s mother by their inaction. There is a pattern of this behaviour in ACT Mental Health (and to be fair, in other States and Territories and countries too, where there is less individual scrutiny because the cases are more common), with Jonathan Crowley being another well-known example. He should have been hospitalised the day before he was shot by police. Procrastination in the Crowley case and the Aranyi case had serious consequences. But not for the mental health system which trundles along, as if nothing ever happened.

These cases, and many many others less well known, require inquests, not adversarial court cases, to establish what happened, and learn from the mistakes.

IP

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