Schizophrenic killer from Auckland found not guilty

By | April 8, 2016

An Auckland man who killed a woman has been declared insane and not guilty.

In a judgement released on Friday, the court heard that 38-year-old Thon Lam has been found guilty of mirder in the grounds of insanity.

Lam killed Davina Jane Nguyen on April 2015 in Papatoetoe, in a house where they lived. He stabbed her to seath with a kitchen knife.

It was revealed in court that at the time of the offending, Lam had switched anti-psychotic medication. He was first taking injection and then started taking pills, and then eventually stopped taking the pills.

“There is ample evidence on which I can be satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Lam was insane at the time he killed Ms Nguyen,” Justice Moore said in his judgment.

“His schizophrenia was such that he did not know that what he was doing was morally wrong.”

Lam, who is from Cambodia, lived in a refugee camp in until he was 15 years old, after his family fled the Khmer Rouge. According to Justice Simon Moore, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1997 and was admitted to the hospital around nine times because of it.

At the camp, Lam was “exposed to various life-changing experiences including witnessing his close friend being fatally stabbed in front of him … [and] it was within a very short time of this Mr Lam developed his first psychotic episode manifested by suspicion and fear of being killed.”

It was also revealed that in the days before the incident, Lam had failed to show up at his printing job. Co-workers also said that he had acted unusually.

Lam will now be detained as a special patient.