Two veteran psychiatrists have told a Queensland’s Supreme Court they are baffled as to why a man would stab two poker mates repeatedly.
A Queensland man was suffering a psychotic episode when he stabbed a sleeping flatmate before calling police, a court has heard.
Eric Roger Frederick Heuer repeatedly stabbed flatmates Robin Drury and Rodney Pettitt in a Hervey Bay apartment on November 18, 2008.
But two veteran psychiatrists who assessed him in Maryborough jail have told the Supreme Court in Brisbane that his behaviour remains a mystery to them.
Justice Jean Dalton has requested updated psychiatric reports as part of a contested sentence.
Heuer pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in an aborted trial in early 2013 but pleaded guilty to the same charge at a second trial late last year.
Forensic psychiatrist Peter Gaetano Fama, who did an assessment in July 2009, said Heuer suffered an abrupt violent psychotic episode when he stabbed Mr Drury, who was sleeping during the 2008 attack.
“It does happen, I don’t know why,” said Dr Fama, who became a psychiatrist in the 1960s.
“It’s a mystery.”
Justice Jean Dalton asked Dr Fama how Heuer could have considered Mr Drury a threat when he was asleep, to which he replied: “He didn’t believe the man lying down was going to kill him, he thought other people were going to kill him.”
Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell suggested that Heuer was a liar who was “playing out a fantastic story”, adding he phoned police in the middle of the attack.
But Dr Fama said Heuer was irrational and delusional when he tried to kill the two men, and stated his fear of television was evidence of schizophrenia.
“He is, I believe, quite insane,” he said.
Fellow psychiatrist Kevin Calder-Potts, who first assessed Heuer in 2008, said it was unclear why Heuer would have wanted to harm Mr Drury, who had helped him financially.
“I don’t know what was in his head at the time,” he said.
Heuer had attempted suicide shortly before the stabbing incident and was unemployed.
He had also consumed two standard alcoholic drinks before the stabbings, the court heard.
The hearing concludes on Tuesday.