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Killer ‘suitable for correctional supervision’

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Nick Longano has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend. Photo: Zanele Zulu

 

Durban - Nick Longano, convicted of killing his girlfriend, suffers from paranoia, anxiety and mild bipolar disorder and has spent time in a psychiatric hospital since the murder.

He was convicted in May by Durban High Court Judge Kate Pillay of killing former girlfriend Vinoba Naidoo in 2010.

He was expected to be sentenced on Monday, but the case was adjourned to Tuesday at the request of the defence.

In a correctional supervision report, handed to the court on Monday, Longano told Correctional Services officer Siphiwe Zama that he suffered from paranoia, anxiety and mild bipolar disorder, but none of these conditions was disclosed during the trial.

The only one mentioned was a major depressive disorder which, he said, was brought on by the break-up of his relationship with Naidoo.

During the trial, Longano put up a defence of sane automatism, meaning a person involuntarily commits an act in an altered state of mind.

However, Judge Pillay found that he knew what he was doing when he killed Naidoo and that his actions were purposeful. She said he was an “evasive witness” who might have “tailored” his evidence to try to convince the court of the defence of sane automatism.

Longano’s advocate, Gideon Scheltema SC, said he needed to consult Longano’s psychiatrist Sandy Pillay. Scheltema said Longano had been in hospital four times since the murder. “We are anxious to expedite these proceedings, but this information cannot be ignored.”

In his report, Zama said Longano told him he accepted the court’s verdict, but he still had no recollection of how the murder happened and he had not planned to kill her.

Zama said Longano was a “suitable candidate” for a sentence of correctional supervision, but it was up to the court to decide whether this was appropriate. He also said that if Longano was sentenced to correctional supervision he would be placed under house arrest, be required to do 16 hours of community service a month and attend orientation and other suitable programmes for the duration of his sentence.

Longano would also be barred from consuming alcohol or drugs.

The Mercury


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