The family of a mentally ill man – who has been found not guilty of stabbing his grandparents – says the beloved great-grandfather would be alive today if Southern Australia’s mental health system had not failed them.
- Austin James Smith has been found not guilty of stabbing his grandparents because of mental incompetence
- His grandfather died and his grandmother was seriously injured
- The case returns to court later this month
Austin James Smith, 23, was charged with the murder of his 81-year-old grandfather, Stanley Broadwood, and attempted murder of his grandmother, Marie Broadwood, in their McLaren Vale home, about 40 miles south of Adelaide, in 2020.
Police were called to the couple’s house on June 9, 2020 after reports of a serious assault.
They found Mr Broadwood dead on the spot and Mrs Broadwood with serious injuries.
A statement issued by police on behalf of Broadwood’s family at the time expressed shock and grief over his death.
“Our family is devastated by the tragedy that took place yesterday,” the statement said.
“Stan was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
The Supreme Court today found Mr Smith innocent on the grounds of mental incompetence.
The case returns to court later this month.
Outside court, Mr Broadwood’s son Chris said his family was relieved that Smith was now receiving the treatment and care he “so badly needed”.
“If he had just received the right support prior to this tragic event, Dad would still be alive,” he said.
“The truth is, the whole thing could have been avoided.