Psychiatrist: Button not in control

A PSYCHIATRIST yesterday told a Rockhampton Supreme Court jury Joseph Garrett Button was not in control of his actions the day he allegedly murdered Russell and Kimberley Griffin.

Dr Ian Curtis told the court Button's behaviour in the days before and after the murder of the Rockhampton children indicated he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

"I think that it is clear that Joseph Button has suffered from the acute and chronic illness schizophrenia for a long time,'' Dr Curtis said.

"He was suffering from a disease of the mind which would have depreciated his ability to control what he was doing and probably to know what he was doing.''

He said that when he met with Button in November 2002, he appeared to be suffering from hallucinations and was suicidal. He also claimed he had blood on his hands and on his shirt which he could not wash off.

Prosecutor David Meredith questioned why Dr Curtis did not factor in evidence from witnesses in the days after the murder which suggested Button had an understanding of events.

Dr Curtis conceded the admissions could amount to a flaw in his testimony.

"It's a strong argument against my evidence which the jury will have to consider.''

Button has pleaded not guilty to murdering Russell, 13, and Kimberley, 9, and throwing their bodies of a cliff in Mt Archer National Park on October 15, 2001.

He has also denied charges he raped Kimberley.

The trial continues.

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