Mental health patient saves caregiver

00:21, Aug 13 2014

A patient at a mental health care village in Hoon Hay, Christchurch, stepped in to help when another resident was trying to strangle a night shift care worker.

The scene in the early hours of June 20 was described in the Christchurch District Court today.

Yvonne Kowhai Moore, aged 62, admitted a charge of assault on the caregiver.

Police said the caregiver was doing her rounds at 1am when she found Moore in the hallway.

The caregiver asked her to go back to bed, but she refused and stepped forward to push the victim up against the wall and lifted her slightly off the floor with her hands around her neck, trying to strangle her.

Police said another resident at the specialist mental health care village stepped in and asked Moore to put the caregiver down. She then released her.


The caregiver locked herself in the staffroom and called the police. She was not injured and did not need medical attention, Judge Robert Murfitt was told.

Defence counsel Louise Denton said Moore, who has bipolar affective disorder, was now in the care of Hillmorton Hospital.

The woman stood in the dock with another caregiver, to enter her guilty plea.

"You have difficulties in your life which you and everybody else have to accept and deal with but you know you are not allowed to assault or hit people. Staff are doing a hard job," Judge Murfitt said to Moore.

He convicted her and ordered her to come up for sentence within three months if called upon - a suspended sentence.

Moore was led out of court by the hand by her caregiver.

The Press