Munster murder accused left mental health facility day before woman died

Cara Hales.
Cara Hales.

A REVIEW of procedures at a mental health facility in Perth has been ordered after a voluntary patient at Graylands Hospital allegedly killed a stranger in her home.

The 23-year-old man left the facility the day before he allegedly stabbed Cara Hales, 30, at her Munster home on December 28, The West Australian newspaper reports.

He was spotted running around naked in nearby bushland a couple of hours later and was arrested.

North Metropolitan Health Service chief executive Robyn Lawrence would not comment on the case, but said day leave and community reintegration were part of a voluntary patient’s clinical management plan.

“A thorough psychological assessment to determine a patient’s risk to themselves and others is undertaken before a patient is granted leave or discharged by the treating mental health assessment team,” she said in a statement.

“All patients who have been appropriately clinically assessed as suitable for hospital discharge have the right to transition and reintegrate back into the community.”

Police notification is only required if there is a clinical risk to a voluntary patient or others, Dr Lawrence said.

“The cause of mental health illness is complex and treatment varies from person to person – it is never a one-size-fits-all,” she said.

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said when any incident occurred the North Metropolitan Health Service reviews its processes and procedures.

“As the incident in Munster is an active police investigation and criminal charges have been laid, I will not be providing an ongoing commentary,” he said.

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