Australian psychiatrist Jean Eric Gassy, twice convicted of murder, loses appeal
May 7, 2010
In 2004, Australian psychiatrist Jean Eric Gassy was convicted of the October 2002 murder of Margaret Tobin , who he shot four times as she exited an elevator on her way back to her office. He fled the scene, but was later tracked to Sydney and extradited to face the murder charge.
Tobin, who was at that time the Chief of South Australia's mental health services, had been Gassy's supervisor at Sydney's St. George Hospital when she made a complaint about his behaviour. That complaint eventually led to Gassy losing his license to practice medicine in 1997.
It had been reported that Gassy took a sick leave from St. George in 1994 for psychiatric reasons. Tobin requested an investigation by the New South Wales Medical Board. The Board in turn requested Gassy have a psychiatric assessment. He refused and subsequently lost his job.
Prosecutor's alleged that Gassy killed Tobin out of resentment.
The original 2004 guilty verdict was overturned by the High Court which raised concerns about instructions given to the jury. But a May 2009 retrial ended in the same murder conviction for Gassy.
The South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal today rejected Gassy's attempt to appeal the May 2009 conviction. Gassy had argued that evidence of him suffering from a delusions should not have been admitted during his second trial. But in refusing the appeal, the court opined that all of the evidence that Gassy suffered from delusional beliefs was relevant to the case against him and that evidence of this nature was a matter for the jury to assess.
Gassy continues to serve a life sentence over Dr Tobin's murder with a non-parole period of 30 years.
He represented himself during his second trial and the subsequent appeal.
Gassy is among the more than 1,000 criminally convicted psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners in Citizens Commission on Human Rights' database.
Post your own comment here: