Kill accused in control, says expert
By EVAN SCHWARTEN
A PSYCHIATRIST yesterday told the murder trial of Joseph Garrett Button she believed he was in control of his actions when he allegedly killed Rockhampton's Griffin children.
Dr Jill Reddan took the stand on day five of Button's Supreme Court trial saying the defendant had not shown any behavioral signs of being psychotic or out of contact with reality at the time of the offence.
The court had previously heard from Button's barrister that he intended to prove his client may not have been in control of his actions.
Dr Reddan said when she met with Button in 2003 he claimed to have lost his memory around the time of the murder but could clearly recollect a series of events both before and after the event.
"It's not uncommon for people who have been charged with a crime to claim they have no memory of an event ... but it's most unlikely that any of the usual conditions could have caused such a short period of memory loss,'' she said.
She said Button's actions on the day of the offence, such as taking a rope with him when he took the kids to collect wood, indicated he knew what he was doing.
"He doesn't take any of the other items one would take to collect wood but he takes rope ... it suggests he was aware he was going to immobilise someone.''
Button has pleaded not guilty to murdering Russell and Kimberley Griffin, aged 13 and 9, on October 15 2001 and throwing their bodies off a cliff in Mt Archer National Park.
He is also accused of raping Kimberley. The trial continues today.