The 72-year-old man who allegedly attacked a Wanaka police
officer earlier this year was yesterday found by Judge
Christina Cook to be unfit to plead to six charges he faces
as a result of the incident.
Peter John Barratt faces charges of driving on the
Makarora-Lake Hawea Rd with an excess breath-alcohol level of
751mcg, having been convicted twice previously; assaulting
Senior Constable Sean Hurley; resisting Snr Const Hurley;
threatening to kill Snr Const Hurley and his daughters and
threatening to kill Constable Reed, all on April 10 at
Barratt, of Wanaka, has been in custody since April 12.
In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, defence counsel
Nic Soper said two reports had been prepared - one by a
registered psychologist and the other by a consultant
psychiatrist. Both indicated Barratt suffered a ''mental
The recommendation was for him to undergo further assessment
at Wakari Hospital in Dunedin, either in the psychogeriatric
unit or in the secure facility.
However, no beds were available at present. Judge Cook said
both reports had concluded Barratt suffered from ''challenges
which mean that he is not fit to stand trial'', a view she
With no beds available at Wakari and doubts whether Southland
Hospital would be suitable given its lack of a secure
facility, the only option was to remand him in custody until
a bed at Wakari became available.
''What really worries me today is that Mr Barratt has been in
custody for a lengthy period of time, since April 12.''
Judge Cook remanded Barratt in custody until June 12, to
reappear in the Invercargill District Court.
If a court date or a bed became available sooner, she would
deal with the matter.