Murder accused being treated for ‘severe schizophrenia’

p2378-pande-veleski-chargeBy KIERAN FINNANE

 

UPDATE, 7 December 2016, 10.46am:

 

Judge David Bamber formally declared murder accused Pande Veleski at risk of self harm in the Alice Springs Local Court this morning.

 

The police prosecutor advised the court that Mr Veleski was still undergoing treatment at the Alice Springs Hospital. This follows incidents of self harm in the cells on Monday, when he was due to come before the court.

 

The prosecutor asked for an adjournment until next week, when a picture of his condition would become clearer.

 

Lawyer Maker Mayek of De Silva Hebron in Darwin, after appearing by telephone on Monday, is no longer acting for Mr Veleski. The family has approached the NT Legal Aid Commission but the commission has not “taken carriage of the matter”, said the prosecutor. So Mr Veleski is currently unrepresented.

 

Judge Bamber had received advice from Corrections that Mr Veleski may have to be transferred to the Joan Ridley Unit in Royal Darwin Hospital. This unit is designed for people with acute mental conditions requiring a secure environment.

 

The matter will return to court for mention on 14 December.

 

EARLIER REPORT:

 

Pande Veleski, the 35-year-old Victorian man accused of murdering a French tourist at a roadside stop north of Alice Springs last Wednesday, was being treated for “severe schizophrenia” in Melbourne before making his way to the NT.

 

So said a lawyer appearing by telephone in the Alice Springs  Local Court this morning, on instructions from Mr Veleski’s family. Mr Veleski had been due to appear, facing charges of murder, two counts of assaulting and harming police, and one of escaping from custody.

 

p2379-maker-mayek-2The lawyer, Maker Mayek from De Silva Hebron in Darwin (pictured), appeared by telephone.

 

He said Mr Veleski was not in court today because he was “unwell” due to his serious mental health issues.  He said he had tried to pass on information about Mr Veleski’s condition and his need for regular medication to the Darwin Police Station but they had been “of no assistance”.

 

Judge David Bamber said he understood Mr Veleski was receiving psychiatric care at the Alice Springs Hospital and that the family could liaise directly with the hospital.

 

The police prosecutor asked for Mr Veleski’s file to be marked “at risk”, due to incidents while in custody.

 

He said Mr Veleski had been taken to hospital today for “another medical condition”, not for a previously existing one. He is expected to require hospital care for two to three days.

 

Mr Mayek asked to be put in touch with the officer in charge of the investigation. He also sought leave to appear by telephone for the next mention, set down for Wednesday.

 

Judge Bamber granted leave, but said that Mr Mayek will need to determine if he is appearing for the accused or for his family.

 

The family are understood to be on their way to Alice Springs today.

 

 

RELATED READING:

French tourist stabbed to death: Man charged

 

 

 

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Hal Duell
    Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:45 am

    I expect we will hear a great deal about the accused man’s mind in the days and weeks to come.
    Was he slightly disturbed, or barking mad? Maybe it wasn’t his fault at all, but blame should be sheeted home to Vic Roads!
    And this after a headline yesterday claiming he has made a confession.
    How many snowflakes does it take to make a flurry?
    Meanwhile a man is dead and his wife a widow.
    If convicted, I say hammer him and hammer him hard.

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  2. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Under Victorian law, if you have a permanent or long-term injury or illness that may impair your ability to drive safely, you are required to inform Vic Roads.
    A permanent or long term illness may include a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
    There are national standards that Vic Roads and medical professionals use to assess whether your illness is permanent or long term. These are the “assessing fitness to drive” standards and can be obtained online or from Austroads.
    If they believe that your illness or the medication does affect your ability to drive safely they can provide you with a conditional licence or suspend your licence indefinitely. It’s very rare for your licence to be cancelled.
    If your licence is suspended indefinitely, Vic Roads will conduct regular reviews to determine whether your circumstances have changed and whether you are fit to drive.
    They may require updated medical reports from your doctor or psychiatrist. A conditional licence allows you to drive but subject to certain restrictions, e.g. driving during the day but not the evening.
    In Victoria, any person including a friend, family member or medical professional may inform Vic Roads of your illness if they believe that you’re unfit to drive safely.
    It’s not mandatory for any person to notify Vic Roads but if they do, you can’t take legal action against them for doing so.

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  3. Well I'll Be Buggered
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    How’d I guess that they were going to claim mental health conditions for him doing this.
    Why wasn’t something done about his health condition before he was allowed to drive into the Territory?

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  4. R Henry
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Begs the question if his condition was bad enough to kill someone, why was he roaming freely about?
    And why did he have a driver’s licence if he was not in proper mental control of himself?

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