Woman died within seconds of stabbing

David Crerar
David Crerar
A Balclutha woman died within seconds after she was stabbed 17 times by her mentally unwell husband at their home last year, a coroner has found.

On October 3 last year, police were called to a Balclutha house where they found Lusi Aleni-Faamoe Ioane (41) dead in the bathroom.

Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar released his written findings this week.

He referred to police evidence and said at about 9.30am on October 3, Mrs Aleni was at home, in the bathroom, when her husband, Timothy To'o Aleni, approached from behind with a knife and repeatedly stabbed and cut her.

Minutes later, police received a 111 call from Mr Aleni, who said he had killed his wife with a knife. When police arrived, Aleni was waiting outside. He had blood on his face, hands, shoes and clothing. He said the blood was his wife's and the knife was inside the house in a cupboard under a towel. Mrs Aleni had 17 stab or cut wounds.

The coroner said the relationship between Mr and Mrs Aleni was reported to have been deteriorating, due to unfounded suspicions by Timothy Aleni of infidelity between his wife and another man or men.

Mr Crerar said police inquiries established Mr Aleni had consulted a doctor in relation to mental health issues. He was said to be having hallucinations and hearing voices. Medication was prescribed but Mr Aleni was not always compliant with his prescriptions.

A pathologist found Mrs Aleni died from torrential external and internal blood loss, multiple major artery transections (cuts), and multiple stab wounds to the neck and upper chest. The pathologist said Mrs Aleni would have died within seconds of the first wounds being inflicted.

In the High Court at Dunedin in May, Timothy To'o Aleni (49) pleaded not guilty, on the grounds of insanity, to murdering Lusi Aleni-Faamoe Ioane at Balclutha on October 3 last year. He was formally declared to have been insane at the time of the incident and was detained as a special patient under the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.