Victim's landlord felt powerless
Thu, 28 Jun 2012 6:22p.m.
By Simon Shepherd
A 38-year-old man known to Auckland Mental Health Services has appeared in court accused of murdering his new flatmate.
Dean Andrew Clark was found dead in his Balmoral flat, five days after offering his alleged murderer a place to live.
Mr Clark had already asked his landlord for help with the man.
“I feel like I let Dean down,” says landlord Finlay Smith.
Mr Smith was Mr Clark's landlord, and the man Mr Clark turned to for help with his new flatmate. Mr Smith says he did help by serving the man an eviction notice.
“His words were, ‘I just wanted to let you know, I’ll be out by lunch time tomorrow,'” says Mr Smith.
That Tuesday night, neighbours claim a man came knocking around 1am asking for a girl called Katie.
“I was a bit worried because I had two girls in the house, and so I ended up shutting the door on him and told him to go away," says neighbour David Hogg.
The next morning, Mr Hogg took a quick video of the man lying on concrete outside.
That day, Dean Andrew Clark was found dead inside.
His landlord wishes he had done more, earlier.
“I couldn't ring the police because no crime had been committed,” says Mr Smith. “I didn't know who to call.”
The accused was arrested after a call from a concerned relative and Auckland Mental Health Services confirm they know him.
This case echoes that of paranoid schizophrenic Lachlan Jones, who killed his flatmate Malcolm Beggs before taking his own life.
Mr Jones had discharged himself from Te Atarau Acute Psychiatric Unit at Waitakere Hospital, against medical advice.
Mr Clark’s alleged killer was assessed by forensic nurses today.
The 38-year-old appeared briefly in court this afternoon and was remanded to the Mason Psychiatric Clinic. He will receive 24-hour care and be assessed as to whether he is fit to stand trial.
His mother was in court, but the man received name suppression so other relatives could be informed. He reappears in two weeks.
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28/06/2012 7:06:27 p.m.
I feel so awful for the landlord. How could he possibly have known that would happen!?! He is obviously very upset about it, and he should know that he did everything he could and it is not his fault.
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