As predicted, the man accused of the murder of Auckland jogger Joanne Pert lost his name suppression when he appeared in court today. He was named as 25 year old Tevita Mafi Filo, of Mount Roskill.
However, there are several special orders restricting publication of Tevita Mafi Filo’s photograph. Also withheld from the public are details of the manner of Ms Pert’s death, the charges laid against the accused, the weapon used and the injuries inflicted.
All the public knows is that shortly after Ms Pert’s body was discovered on the front lawn of a house in Remuera in early January the accused handed himself and a weapon over to police.
Filo has been remanded in the care of the Mason Clinic until his reappearance in court in April for a case review hearing (source).
It is not known whether Tevita Mafi Filo had been a patient of the Mason Clinic before Ms Pert died, or if he was on release from any mental health facility. However, Mr Filo lived in Mount Roskill which is about 5km from the Mason Clinic.
More About the Mason Clinic
The Mason Clinic and ‘mowing the lawns’
The Mason Clinic was created in response to the New Zealand Government inquiry into the care of mentally ill offenders. it is one of five regional forensic mental health services in New Zealand. It is co-located with the UNITEC campus in Point Chevalier, Auckland (address UNITEC Gate 2, Carrington Road).
The facility provides integrated forensic mental health service to the northern region’s courts, prisons and general mental health services.
The clinic’s inpatient services consists of seven forensic mental health inpatient units and an intellectual disability unit that assess, treat and assist in the recovery of people with mental illness or intellectual disability who have committed a criminal offence, or are at high risk in the community.
The Clinic has not been without controversy during its short history
The Mason Clinic houses Auckland’s mentally ill. The Rata Unit holds 15 of its most dangerous patients: criminally insane killers and violent offenders.
They pose a “serious risk” to the public, to clinic staff and to themselves.
But there are no high fences and no razor wire: the state-of-the-art design means the security is in the architecture…There are no security guards – this is a hospital, not a prison. Instead, there is a heavy staff presence with psychiatrists and assorted health professionals accompanied by up to 10 nurses a shift...Patrick Gower, writing for the NZH in March 2008
Back in 2008 it had only one escape on record, marring an otherwise spotless reputation. During an investigation into an ‘inappropriate relationship’ between a female nurse and a triple-killer (Mr X) from the Rata Unit, Gower revealed that the couple
took day leave to see the movie Troy, but instead went to her house, with the invitation of a home-cooked “feed”.
Their sexual relationship began.
He accused her of sneaking him away from the clinic to have sex either at her home or in toilets at the nearby Unitec polytechnic, Pt Chevalier library and McDonald’s.
Ms L told the tribunal of a discussion at the volleyball court as well _ but in 2001 when she was a student nurse and how it was X who came to her, telling her how he believed he was under a makutu, or Maori curse.
Allegations of other inappropriate liaisons came to light and a tribunal heard of
other apparent issues at the clinic: allegations of low morale, of tension between its Maori and Pakeha staff and of how other staff take patients home – to mow the lawns.
Escape bid by man who later went on to become one of NZ’s most notorious killers
The tribunal found the nurse not guilty of sexual misconduct, saying there was insufficient proof, although they suspected there was a relationship. They found her guilty
of the other charge of misconduct for providing the killer with a cellphone, taking him to her home and ignoring an escape bid X told her about involving another patient – also with name suppression – who, on his later release, became one of New Zealand’s most notorious murderers.
Although unsuccessful, the escape bid sparked a “serious incident review” – the results of which the clinic will not disclose… read the full report here
Fast forward to 2013. Martin Johnston was telling Herald readers that safety costs were a key issue in locking up the Mason Clinic
Auckland’s mental hospital for criminals has been told bedroom doors should generally be left unlocked but it is uncertain how to comply in full because of the extra staffing costs to maintain safety.
Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem says in a report on Auckland’s Mason Clinic, following a visit by inspectors, that unless patients are in formal seclusion, “they should not be locked in their rooms either during the day or overnight“…
The three higher security units of the Pt Chevalier clinic contain around 45 beds for mentally unwell patients from prisons, and offenders either found not guilty or not tried because they were unwell.
“No other forensic unit in New Zealand takes as many people classified as maximum security prisoners as we do“
According to Johnston’s article, patients in the three higher security units have their bedroom doors locked over night. A risk assessment for each patient avoided the need to ‘blanket’ door lock throughout the whole facility.
But complex issues remained on whether more doors were left unlocked and what that meant for increased staffing needs and everyone’s safety.
The Public Service Association declined to comment.
Dr Skipworth said many of the patients had come from New Zealand’s highest security prison, at Paremoremo, where cell doors mostly were kept locked.
“We are dealing with a population who, for reasons not just of their mental illness, are regarded as high-risk individuals. There’s no other forensic unit in New Zealand that takes as many people classified as maximum security prisoners as we do.”
He said the clinic was legally obliged to provide a safe environment for its more than 100 inpatients and 450-plus staff (some of whom worked off-site)…
Bulging prison population prompts New 15 Bed medium-secure unit
In November 2014 it was announced the Mason Clinic would be getting a new medium-secure unit because of the bulging prison population
A bulging prison population has prompted construction of a new medium-secure mental health unit.
The 15-bed facility will be built at Pt Chevalier’s Regional Forensic Psychiatry Service site, known as the Mason Clinic, which treats people with mental illness or intellectual disability who have committed a criminal offence or are at high risk in the community.
The new building will initially be used to house patients from the site’s existing units which are in need of repair due to leaky building syndrome.
Expanding the facility is necessary to cope with Auckland’s booming prison population, clinical director Dr Jeremy Skipworth said.
A new 960-bed men’s prison in Wiri, South Auckland is due to open next year.
It will see the region’s prison population rise from about 2500 to 3500, Skipworth said…
Skipworth added that about 10% of those people suffer from serious mental illnesses and some will need hospital-level care
“For those people their only option is to come here and we are under enormous pressure to get those people in. We’re desperately in need of more beds,” Skipworth said.
“At the moment we operate five beds in Wellington which is a reflection of how much pressure we’re under on this site to meet the needs of everyone that we need to.”
More than half of the facility’s patients are Maori, Skipworth said. The new unit will cater specifically for the needs of Maori patients after the remedial works are complete…
Mental health services have been provided on the site for about 150 years.
Its existing buildings, between eight and 22 years old, have structural issues, mould and sodden timbers in the walls.
The air quality is tested regularly and hasn’t reached levels which force the units to close, Skipworth said. source
Inquiry into Mason Clinic that cared for sword attack accused
In 2015 the Mason Clinic again attracted attention with the announcment of an inquiry into the care of a man who was accused of slashing a Hamilton woman with a sword.
Manjit Singh, was a special patient under a compulsory care order. When he was on special leave conditions he used a ceremonial sword
to attack his former partner in Hamilton on November 4.
The woman needed surgery and Singh was arrested the next day in Favona, South Auckland.
Singh had been under the care of Auckland-based Mason Clinic, a forensic mental health service, and the Ministry of Health has now announced an external inquiry.
The inquiry will cover how the clinic managed and treated Singh as a patient and is expected to be completed part way through 2016. source