BUIMO National Court Judge John Kaumi has ordered Correctional Services (CS) officers in Lae to take a man, who had pleaded guilty to wilful murder, for a medical check from a psychiatrist or a health professional in Angau Memorial Hospital to establish whether he has any mental illness after he stated that he had lost his senses and killed a person.
Nicholas Kitap, 27, from Dengea village in Bulolo, Morobe, pleaded guilty to killing Leo Kidabing in 2018.
Justice Kaumi said the court saw that the case was very disturbing.
The court vacated Kitap’s plea of guilty and ordered CS officers at Buimo to take Kitap to Angau to seek a proper check-up, clarification of his mental status – whether he had any illnesses.
That came about after he had told investigation officers that he had a temporary mental breakdown which sometimes affected his thinking and he did not know what he was doing. He said that was what happened when he killed the man.
The case was adjourned to Feb 1 for a medical report to be presented in court to help the court with the case.
Court documents said that on March 16, 2018 at around 11am the victim with two other men were at a stream in Dengea village panning for gold. They were clearing rocks and using goggles to search for gold.
The report stated that Kitap came out from nowhere armed with a long bush knife and without saying anything slashed the victim’s neck.
The victim got up and shouted at him but he continued to slash the victim on the head and chopped off his hand when the victim lifted it to stop the knife. It was indicated in the police report that two other men heard shouts and ran towards the victim but there was nothing they could do.
They shouted at him to stop but he turned and tried to attack them. They escaped.
The men returned to the victim after Kitap left, but he was dead. They took him to the village and alerted the villagers.
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