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Sane or Insane?

A WILL CASE. What Mi* Fraser, who appeared for the petitioner, described as the most painful case that he had to conduct during the whole of his professional career, was heard before Mr Justice Cooper and a jury of 23 in the Supreme Court, Dunedin, recently. It came before the court in the shape of a petition by Madeline Robinson, asking for an inquiry as to the mental condition of her husband, Robert Robinson, farmer, Groenbank, Taieri. The wife was 69 years of age and the husband 74, and they have been married over 50 years, and it is alleged that they lived happily together till June last, when Robinson showed signs of mental trouble, and changed his conduct towards his wife, accusing her, amongst other things, of misconduct. He was placed in a private asylum for a whilei and after his release made a will in favour of two of his sons, with whom he had previously quarrelled, the consideration they gave him being annuities of £175 and £25 a year respectively. It was alleged that petitioner had helped her husband to build up an estate worth between £B,OOO and £IO,OOO, and that if the will were given effect to she would be practically penniless. She did not seek to interfere with his liberty. After a hearing extending over four days, during which medical evidence of a conflicting character was given, the jury found that Robinson was of unsound mind, and unfit to manage his affairs, but not a fit subject for the restraint of an asylum, nor dangerous to himself. The will has thus been set aside. His Honour, in summing up, said that he knew of only one other case in the colony like the present one —it occurred in Christchurch some years ago.

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Bibliographic details

Sane or Insane?, Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 45, 5 January 1907

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Sane or Insane? Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 45, 5 January 1907