Molotov cocktail arsonist in mental health dispute

Monday April 27, 2020 Written by Published in Crime
The land by Vaerota Marae on Avana Point, where Richard Ireton and Jessica Lennan planned to build a home. 19082631 The land by Vaerota Marae on Avana Point, where Richard Ireton and Jessica Lennan planned to build a home. 19082631

Crown Law has sought a second psychiatric test for the man accused of a Molotov cocktail attack on a controversial coastal development.

 

Derek Trego had denied a charge of setting fire to a shed on the building site at Avana Point, next to Vaerota Marae.

The historic site was leased by New Zealander Richard Ireton and his Cook Islands partner Jessica Lennan. They cleared ancient makatea rock and native vegetation to ready the property for the construction of a big new home.

Clinical psychologist Dr Evangelene Daniela-Wong has already prepared one mental health report on Trego, 23.

But Crown prosecutor Jana Epati said they preferred two psychiatric reports before the case goes to trial. They hope a second report can be done in time for the next High Court sitting before a Judge.

She said the law was unclear, and they normally followed the New Zealand law on this matter. New Zealand requires two reports, to both confirm mental illness.

Epati asked for another week’s adjournment – but defence lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen objected, saying he did not know how many times a person had to undergo a psychiatric test in order for a court trial to proceed.

Rasmussen said there were no proper facilities for those with mental health conditions and it was only recently that the country had managed to get a well-qualified psychologist.

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A second report was not needed, he said; because Trego had managed to move on – he was no longer mentally unwell.

It was only after the sessions with Dr Daniela-Wong that Trego’s mental health improved, and he managed to get a job.

Rasmussen said it was not fair on Trego to demand another report. He asked the Court for a week’s adjournment.

Justice of the Peace Bernice Manarangi adjourned the matter to April 30 to advise whether a second report was necessary.

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