Doctors can't agree on accused's mental state

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 12:28 20/03/2013

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A man who stabbed a 95-year-old war veteran in the head could face a hearing to decide whether his guilty pleas will stand after four doctors failed to agree on his mental state.

Jacob Komene, 20, had a charge of attempted murder dropped when he pleaded guilty to wounding Albert Chant with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and entering a building with intent to commit a crime while armed with a knife.

Komene's sentencing has been delayed, however, with his lawyer questioning whether his client's mental state is sufficient to validate the pleas, saying four doctors have evaluated Komene and have not been able to agree on his sanity.

In the High Court at Auckland today Justice Timothy Brewer ordered a fixture on May 30 where Komene will either be sentenced if the doctors can come to an agreement, or they will give evidence so the mental state issue can be decided.

Komene entered Chant's Glendene home by jimmying open a window with a knife on April 18, 2012, the court heard.

He then entered the master bedroom where he found Chant preparing to go to bed.

Chant turned to get to the telephone to call for help and activated his Lifelink alarm, which enraged Komene who stabbed Chant him in the face.

He only stopped when his fist holding the five centimetre blade reached Chant's face. The laceration severed a nerve and an artery, the court was told.

Komene escaped through the bedroom window.

The bloodied knife was located and Komene was found at a neighbouring address a short time later.

Komene has been remanded in custody.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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