There was no “medical explanation” for why a 62-year-old Riverside man murdered his wife and then took his own life in 2013, a psychiatry professor has said.
On Wednesday, Professor Matthew Large, head of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, spoke at a coronial inquest into the deaths of John and Jill Evans.
Ms Evans died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, inflicted by Mr Evans.
Mr Evans subsequently killed himself.
Shortly before the murder-suicide occurred, Mr Evans was admitted to the Launceston General Hospital, after presenting with health anxieties at his general practice.
One of the key questions the inquest is seeking to address is whether Mr Evans was psychiatrically fit to be discharged.
Mr Evans requested to be transferred from the LGH to a private hospital.
Professor Large said it was “normal” practice for a patient to be discharged if such a request was made.
He said Mr Evans refused psychological treatment.
While Professor Large said there was no “medical explanation” for the 2013 murder-suicide, he did offer a psychological profile of the late Mr Evans.
He said Mr Evans had a “low normal” intelligence, a “maladaptive” way of interacting with people, a loss of “cognitive reserve” resulting from his age and was prone to paranoia and anxiety.
It was “obvious”, Professor Large said, that Mr Evans had some form of personality disorder.
Mr Evans’ mental state “probably contributed” to the events in 2013, Professor Large said.
In 1989, the Evans’ daughter Tina died in a car crash.
Professor Large told Coroner Olivia McTaggart that Mr Evans had exhibited some paranoid ideas regarding the family of the other driver involved in the crash.
The professor also disputed claims Mr Evans was delusional, although he admitted he was likely “transitorily delusional” for a period of days.
Professor Large said general practitioners who treated Mr Evans had not recorded that he was delusional in their notes.
“There was no suggestion, earlier, that Mr Evans was suicidal,” Professor Large said.
And, according to Professor Large, neither was there any indication Mr Evans would commit murder.
The inquest continues on Thursday.
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