Issues relating to the insanity defence have again been highlighted by the Sensible Sentencing Trust in the wake of the acquittal of David Fa for the 2006 murder of Stuart Stone.
Graeme Moyle, the Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman on mental health issues is adamant changes must be made to a law unchanged for 170 years.
David Francis Fa, 32, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for the brutal murder of 22-year-old Stuart Stone but yesterday had his conviction overturned and has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
“Yesterday’s decision is distasteful “ Moyle said, “Fa had been convicted of murder and held to account, now that accountability has been removed along with his conviction”.
“Stuart Stones murder has been erased by a callous and inhumane justice system and Fa’s part in it annulled”.
“The insanity defence must be reformed, how many more deaths must go unrecognised before it is” Moyle said
The Sensible Sentencing Trust have been advocating for a change in verdict from the current, not guilty by reason of insanity to one of proven but insane.
“It is high time the courts recognised there are victims in cases where the offender is deemed to have a mental illness” Moyle says, “this fact has been lost on the courts for more than 170 years. Victims must be at the forefront of the judicial system and not relegated to being a by-product of a dysfunctional mental health system and antiquated laws”.
“The solution is simple, the question is who has the political nouse to implement it”.
Mental Health Issues Spokesperson
Phone: 027 4941414 or 07 8275121