Déjà vu for murder victims family

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Ten years after the murder of Colin Moyle, his brother has expressed anger over a similar death linked to the same Auckland mental health unit.

The man charged with the murder of 69-year-old Michael Mulholland, who was found in the stairwell of an Auckland block of flats on September 26, was released from Te Whetu Tawera acute mental health unit only days earlier according to New Zealand Herald sources.

The Auckland District Health Board has referred all inquiries relating to the investigation to the Police.

In May 2007 Colin Moyle was bludgeoned to death and set on fire at his Sandringham home by Matthew John Ahlquist who had also been recently discharged from the Te Whetu Tawera clinic.

Moyles brother Graeme is devastated that another innocent family have to endure the consequences of a mental health system that is failing patients and the community.

"Colins’ death was totally preventable and predictable" Moyle said, "and once the facts come to light I’m sure the same will apply in this instance".

"I’ve put a lot of energy into trying to ensure other families don’t have to live through what we have in the past ten years, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears".

A Health and Disability inquiry into Moyles death found the Auckland District Health Board failed in its duty of care of Ahlquist and criticised the care provided by Dr Thom Rudegeair, the former head of Te Whetu Tawera, and the Auckland DHB.

The report stated Dr Rudegeair's risk assessment of Ahlquist was superficial and incomplete and failed to identify his "mental health was unravelling".

Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill concluded the Auckland DHB did not have appropriate checks and balances, and system failures led to inadequate communication, discharge planning and follow-up care.

"There have been an untold number of internal and external DHB inquiries, HDC inquiries and Coronial Investigations into deaths perpetrated by mentally ill offenders over the years", Moyle says.

"All, without exception, come to the same conclusions, yet year after year we see more of the same, tragic, predictable, preventable deaths where no one is held to account".

"What we will witness in the coming months is another DHB whitewash where no fault will be apportioned, a trial in the absence of a jury where psychiatrists for hire will collude to win an insanity acquittal, a willing judge ready to rubber stamp the decision and a killer who escapes a murder conviction".

"All this", Moyle said, "and a family ignored, violated and re-victimised by a system designed to protect the offender at the expense of the victim".

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