Register
News
Man who fatally stabbed health worker cleared of murder

Shannon Smith, 38, was cleared of murder after a judge ruled he was "insane" when he attacked case worker Jacqueline Francis in Rockingham, south of Perth, a day after he was discharged from hospital.

Mother-of-three Ms Francis was stabbed in the neck whilst checking on a patient in 2018. Smith had a long history of psychiatric problems, including hallucinations.

A month before Ms Francis' death, Smith professed his love for his case worker – feelings that were not returned. Somebody else took over the case and Smith's mental health deteriorated. Ms Francis was worried for him and visited his house in Rockingham, with tragic consequences.

The judge found Smith had at all times sought appropriate help for his illness, including checking himself into hospital the day before the stabbing. Smith will remain in a psychiatric unit.