JAMES Andrew Mitchell admits he deliberately used his van to run down killed Ocean Shores inventor John Foss, killing him.

But a Supreme Court Judge has now found Mitchell, 54, not guilty of murder because he was suffering a mental illness at the time.

Mitchell ran down Mr Foss, who had been riding one of the motorised bicycles he produced at Ocean Shores, along Coolamon Scenic Drive near Mullumbimby on January 3 this year.

Mitchell, who police said had a history of animosity with Mr Foss, fled in his van, leaving Mr Foss to be cared for by an off-duty lifesaver, who arrived on the scene moments after the inventor was run down.

Mitchell pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Foss at a hearing in the Supreme Court at Sydney on Monday.

The Crown prosecutor accepted Mitchell was suffering from a mental illness when he deliberately ran Mr Foss down, with the intention of injuring him.

Justice Fullerton a few minutes ago handed down her judgement on the case, finding Mitchell not guilty because of his mental illness.

Mr Foss was perhaps best known on the Northern Rivers for his customised "Fosscatis" - the name he gave his motorised bikes, which he championed with a fictional character, Giacomo Fosscati.



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