Marceau inquest: Forensic nurse tells of phone call with soon-to-be killer

Christie Marceau was killed in her home in November, 2011 by Akshay Chand.

Christie Marceau was killed in her home in November, 2011 by Akshay Chand.

Christie Marceau's soon-to-be-killer told a nurse he was doing fine and feeling "optimistic" about his upcoming court case less than a month before he launched his deadly attack. 

Akshay Chand stabbed Marceau to death in her home on Auckland's North Shore in November, 2011.

He had previously been arrested for kidnapping the teenager, but was later bailed by Judge David McNaughton.

Akshay Anand who killed Christie Marceau by stabbing her multiple times.
GRAHAME COX/FAIRFAX NZ

Akshay Anand who killed Christie Marceau by stabbing her multiple times.

Chand went on to kill Marceau 33 days after being released. 

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Giving evidence on Monday at the start of the second week of the inquest into Marceau's death, forensic nurse Louise Hayward-Rowse told the court Chand had advised her he was feeling fine just weeks before he killed Marceau. 

"We spoke about what he had been doing at home, in which he replied he had been watching movies," she said. 

"...He reported he felt optimistic about the upcoming court case and he would try his best to put forward his case." 

Chand denied he wanted to cause harm to others or himself during the conversation, Hayward-Rowse said. 

During this same phone call Hayward-Rowse spoke to Chand's mother, Suchita Chand, who said her son was making improvements. 

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"I enquired into Akshay's current mental wellbeing, asking questions about his response to his current medication to which his mother replied that Akshay is 'doing well on his tablets' and she had noticed some improvements with regards to his mood and motivation around the house." 

The next conversation Hayward-Rowse would have with Suchita Chand was on the morning her son left the house to kill Marceau. 

"She reported she had received a phone call from Akshay's sister to say that Akshay had left the house," she said. 

"I advised his mother to contact the police due to her concerns for his whereabouts and that he was contravening his bail conditions." 

Earlier on Monday, forensic psychiatrist Sally French gave evidence about how following his initial attack on Marceau, Chand was assessed by a team at the Mason Clinic. 

The mental health team concluded he was suffering from mild depression and was referred back to his doctor. 

French told the court it was not up to mental health professions to make decision around bail, but the judicial system. 

Last week, former Mason Clinic psychiatrist Ian Goodwin said Chand was the "perfect example of a psychopath" who had duped health professionals, and the court, into thinking he was fine. 

Chand was later found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity, and is a patient at the Mason Clinic where he is being treated for his schizophrenia. 

HOW THE INQUEST WORKS:

Coroner Greig made clear at the outset of the inquest the purpose is not to criticise Judge McNaughton, but to look at what information the court had at the time Chand was bailed. 

A minute issued before the inquest begun stated why: 

"This inquest does not have jurisdiction to inquire into or review the decisions of District Court Judges who granted Mr Chand bail, and does not intend to do so.

"It also is not appropriate for this inquest to encroach on judicial independence in respect to court processess, although subject to evidence heard at the inquest, they may be the subject of recommendations." 

Judge McNaughton will not be called to give evidence. 

 - Stuff

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