'Mentally ill' man stabs flatmate

A BOARDER who stabbed his 71-year-old Tweed Heads flatmate with a knife has escaped an attempted murder charge on the grounds he was mentally ill but will remain in custody indefinitely.

In a Judge Alone Trial at Lismore District Court, Judge James Black yesterday found Shon Antaw, 39, not guilty of wounding with intent to murder Mervyn “Curly” Ryland, at a flat in Binya Ave, Tweed Heads West on November 4, 2008.

He was also found not guilty of a charge of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Before the court were extensive medical and psychological reports on the mental health issues – schizophrenia suffered by Antaw, now an inmate of Long Bay prison hospital.

Judge Black ordered Antaw be detained by Corrective Services until he is released by due process of law, recommending that the Minister of Health and the Mental Health Review Tribunal be notified.

He found Antaw not guilty under the provisions of the Mental Health (Criminal Proceedings) Act by reason of his mental illness.

In Crown evidence, neighbours at the residential complex described how Mr Ryland, wearing satin boxer shorts, woke them at 4.30am banging on their door and covered in blood.

“I could see his intestines protruding out of the cut,” a neighbour told police in her statement.

Mr Ryland was stabbed in his chest, abdomen and across his back by Antaw wielding a knife.

At the time of his arrest Antaw gave Tweed Heads investigating officer Det Sgt Frank Natoli a “confusing” version of events stating he was “cleansing the victim for his past sins”.

Mr Ryland told police it was an unprovoked attack, with his boarder acting strange and talking about killing someone or something in the days before the attack.



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