A probe will be carried out into how a mental health
outpatient was able to stab a young mum to death and slash
her throat in front of her daughter, hospital officials said
Market gardener Paul Gottermeyer can be named for the first
time today after losing name suppression when he was
sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch to life
The 29-year old from Kaiapoi was on medication and an
outpatient at Hillmorton psychiatric hospital when he carried
out what Justice John Fogarty described as a "horrible attack
of the utmost gravity".
The little girl saw Gottermeyer enter her Christchurch family
home on July 11 and stab her mum to death before slashing her
She told police: "Mummy did bleed everywhere ... and mummy
The woman and her daughter retain name suppression.
The court earlier heard how Gottermeyer has been suffering
from a significant depressive illness.
Justice Fogarty jailed Gottermeyer for life today, but
adjourned the case until February 28 for a psychiatrist's
report under section 104 of the Criminal Procedures (Mentally
Impaired Persons) Act to be prepared to establish his mental
state of mind at the time of the killing.
He will then determine the length of the minimum non-parole
The judge asked for the report to include notes on why
Gottermeyer was still on medication, why he was at outpatient
at Hillmorton when the murder occurred, and any other
clinical observations which would assist the court in judging
"to what extent his history of depression and associated
The Canterbury District Health Board, which has
responsibility for Hillmorton, said an investigation would be
The health board refused to speak about Gottermeyer's case
but said that "whenever a serious unexpected event" happens
involving a patient, a detailed review would be carried out
"to see if there were any aspects of the treatment, care or
systems that could be improved".
A spokeswoman said the case would be reported in the Health
Quality and Safety Commission's annual report on serious and
sentinel events and include a summary of any recommendations
One case of a mental health outpatient who had been charged
with a homicide was included in the annual sentinel events
report issued yesterday.
It reported that a 'root cause analysis' was currently
underway and a report was awaited.
The CDHB refused to say if that was the Gottermeyer case.
About 50 family members and friends of the victim filled the
court today to see Gottermeyer sentenced and tell him how the
crime had affected the family.
The woman's father asked the killer why he had taken his
"Life will never be the same," he said. "I feel angry and
Other family members say the young girl, who was 3 at the
time of the attack, suffers night terrors and relives the
The woman's brother told Gottermeyer the impact has been "sad
The court heard how he left home at 7am on July 11 with a
large kitchen knife and drove to the woman's house.
He was let inside where a heated argument developed in the
Gottermeyer knocked her to the ground, and stabbed her
repeatedly in the head, hands, chest, and back, before
slashing her throat.
When he was arrested, he said the girl had not seen the
attack. He said he closed the kitchen door and left water,
biscuits, and a mandarin for the girl before driving home.
After showering and washing his clothes, he dumped the murder
weapon which was never recovered.
The woman's body was found when her partner came home later
that morning to check why she had not arrived at work.
He found the daughter crying and upset.
The woman was found lying face down in the kitchen, and
police were called.
The killer was found driving on Marshlands Rd at 12.25pm.
Gottermeyer admitted the attack, and told officers: "I'm not
a very nice person."