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THE WAITARA TRAGEDY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 69, 22 March 1909
THE WAITARA TRAGEDY.
DR. GOODE DECLARED INSANE; OBDEB FOB DETENTION. (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) NEW PLYMOUTH, Saturday. The trial of Dr. Edward Nathaniel Goode, on a charge of having murdered Mrs. Klenner at Waitara, on December 14 last, was concluded to-day. The case for . the Crown . broke down under the expert; evidence of Dr. Truby King (who ■was ' called by the Crown Prosecutor), which, contrary to general expectation's, ■went in the direction of conclusively proving accused's insanity. Dr. King's evidence created an immense ■ impression, and brought about a dramatic ending, which, till then, was totally unanticipated. Mr, CT.es.ton asked the witness .if Dr. Goode at the time, of committing the act, had, in his opinion, any knowledge of what he was doing. Dr. King replied: "He had knowledge, but° not Knowledge ttat wouldy enable him to "make a rational choice. People talk about the motives'of the insane, and say they talk about imaginary things— imagine they, hear voices. The insane man does not imagine it; he hears it. He hears- voices just as he hears the sound when he says he hears a "band playing ''God»Save the' King.' Cerebral processes corresponding to the tune are going on in the man's brain—the only organ -that man can hear with, for we do not hear -with our ears, but with our ibrains. Is it any wonder that a man becomes annoyed when we laugh at him, and say he is . only imagining?" T went to'b«firiast night, and as I el'epf'l dreamt. I had knowledge of what I" dreamt; but in that" other existence" there is dual consciousness, however limited. We lead two existences, night and day, but I have no proper knowledge of what I do in sleep, I am not responsible for what 1 Jnay do then. Even in nightmare I have "■knowledge, ; but not knowledge that , makes mc responsible.'' ■ ■•• -■ ■ • ■■■ !•■■ Mr, ."Westbn said he thought tha.question admitted a direct answer, "Yes," ■or "No," but witness said that it was impossible. Mr. Weston: I refer you specially to "the fact of accused pointing a revolver and pulling the trigger. Would he have ■any- knowledge' of. tboee acts ?—3fes, if ■'"iany,.knowledge" embraces . such -knowledge. ;as. a' man might, have in. sleep, .he tnuet be .said to have had knowledge at least. At the time of committing the act did Dr. Goode know that what he was doing was wrrong?. Did he know he was committing an unlawful act?—l think,he had knowledge thftt .the shooting ,of a fellpw-«vreature was ,an illegal act, but that that knowledge was the knowledge of a man whose brain was wasted by .chronic alcoholism, and who was under the immediate influence of that poison at the time, and who was also suffering from a form of insanity capable of existing without alcoholic influence. His state of unconsciousness may epen have been, as suggested, one of epileptic form—■ dream, consciousness—though I am not. of the opinion that the last-named was the case. Mr. Skerrett: Do you ■ think Dr. Goode, having regard to his mental condition, was,, at the time of the commission of the crime, capable of calmly and rationally considering the different reasons which affected the Tightness or "wrongness; of his act? —I have no doubt that he was quite capable of so considering. -Yon are of opinion that the brain functions which control the functions of desire were, in the case of Dr. Goode, diseased at the time of the commission ©f-the crime!—l have no doubt of it. Clearly enough that impairs the function of judgment?— Yes. Symptoms of alcoholic insanity are delusions of persecution and injustice, sometimes accompanied by hallucinations?—l , may tell you that my diagnosis does not show that Dr. Goode was simjply suffering from chronic alcoholic ineanity. Hie is a complex case. Sullivan shows -that more than fifty per cent of crimes of violence and fifty per cent of crimes of lust take place in alcoholics, and particularly in cases of chronic al.cofcolism. Dr. King went on to cay that everything in Di. Goode's case seemed to coincide -with the general picture he had formed of this man. The difficult part ■was that the shooting did not sober (him in the virtual presence of death. He assumed that the man had been carried away by lust, then, baffled, exasperated, and without staying to reflect, went on Ineenslbly to the other act. "Witness exsimlned accused at New Plymouth a few idayß ago. Physically he was an ordinary chronic alcoholic; but accused was suffering from something more complex ihati simple chronic alcoholism, viz., from (that rare disease, alcoholic paranoia. CThis vras one form of insanity in which above. all others a man who may superficially appear sane enough, cannot escape "from the "dictates and leadings of delusions..: Paranoia could exist without alcohol at all, as in the case, of iDionel Terry. He was a different class of paranoia subject, but a paranoia subject all the came. Witness quoted from Dr. Mercier, the highest English authority upon the subject, to the effect that paranoia is a form of insanity which . runs a definite course not seen in any other variety, and is dominated by de-. lusiim. No Paranoiac should 1 be at large, . . ;, _ QUESTIONS "BY THE JUDGE. ; ■ : At the conclusion of Dr. Truby King's examination the following questions were jni/t by his Honor:— Did accused, in your opinion, when be'shot! Mrs. Kleiner, possess the power of "foioing Ms owji rational judgment substantially* unjbiassed by mental disease as7jfcq;tlie true , nature and quality; including the- moral and legal nature, t>f the act?—l 'am absolutely satisfied tha/t he had not. ."Was this "inability to form such judgment due *q . disease ?^Certainly. Was the act an apt of 'his own. independent; volition-in the true sense; or was it an act dictated or dominated arising from the actual mental disease, ."which influence he was unable by ihis own will to control?—lt was certainly of the latter kind. Using the tprms as you would use them or as they are popularly used, and treating the question as one of fact, do man" who; is w.antthg in control;. tSr that extent is for hia acte?—He-is* absolutely irresponsible, m - - ... Can you affirm that a man having the condition of -his brain as an organ of the mind such as you find here from any point ;of view is responsible for his act?— Certainly not. ■ ■ ..-....:. At this stage Dr. Grey Hassell, medical superintendent -of Porfrua Mental Hospital, was about to be ■ called, when his" Honor ■asked ,: MT.-Weston n iffie"felt justified in proceeding further with the matter. Mr. Weston replied that he had been wondering during the morning whether he was.
,j THE JtTEYIS γ^erdict. His..Honor stated.that he thought counsel for the Grown had taken in every respect the proper one; to adopt in this case. It seemed to his Honor that the case should not go any further. The proper course in this case, was to ask the jirry to consider certain questions; It .was perfectly hopeless to ask the jury to convict the accused of wilful murder, •and no one thought of doing so. The jury was required .to find specially whether accused was lunatic at the time of., the commission of his crime. His Honor would put to the jury two. questions that they could probably; answer •without leaving the box. These questions were: (1) ..Whether, the accused was lunatic at the time of the commission' of the crime?- <(2) Whether, if the jury acquitted accused, such acquittal, was' on the grounds that accused was lunatic? After a momentary consultation the foreman stated that the jury had agreed on answers, which would foe in the affirmative. A moment later, however, the foreman discovered that two jurors wished to retire, and a retirement was' accordingly, made. . In seven minutes the jury returned, and the foreman explained that the reason for the. retirement was uhat some members of. thei jury wished to be sure that a verdict replying affirmatively to the questions would ensure the detention of the prisoner. His Honor replied that that did not concern the jury. They were under oath -to'give a. verdict according to the facts of the case. As.a matter of fact, how-ever,-such verdict did ensure detention. The jury bhen replied -Yes" to each question, adding a. rider thai the means of arrest employed by Constables Price and Mclvor probably prevented further tragedy or tragedies. Mr. Weston then formally asked for an order: of distention. . . ";.. His Honor replied' that in accordance with statute lie would make an order that accused be kept in strict custody in New Plymouth gaol until the Minister's pleasure is known. His Honor agreed that the mode of arrest was a perfectly proper one, and probably prevented further mischief. The conduct by the police of the proceedings throughout 'had been just what if Should be. His Honor also, congratulated the police on the admirable order preserved in and about the Court during the trial.
THE WAITARA TRAGEDY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 69, 22 March 1909
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