A WAGGA man accused of murdering his father will undergo an assessment for a mental health condition before his case returns, Wagga Local Court has heard.
David John Clements, 49, was arrested in Cootamundra after trying to board a Sydney-bound XPT passenger train on May 26.
It is alleged that less than three hours earlier Clements attacked and killed his elderly father, Roger Clements, 89, at their Springvale home.
Clements appeared emotionless as he sat in the court dock on Wednesday.
Public defender Michael King told magistrate Erin Kennedy Clements’s mental health condition still needed to be assessed by a forensic psychiatrist.
Mr King said there were 2500 notes from the Wagga Mental Health Unit to study and asked Ms Kennedy for an adjournment. He earlier revealed Clements had been in and out – voluntarily and involuntary – of the mental health facility several times in his life.
“The question of Mr Clements’s mental health at the time of the alleged incident is a very significant matter,” Mr King said.
Ms Kennedy asked whether the mental health assessment could change whether Mr Clements was committed for trial. She adjourned the case to January 27, where Clements was granted permission to appear via video link.
It is not unusual for serious cases that rely on forensic evidence to be adjourned several times before a case is built.
Roger Clements’s death and the allegation he was murdered by his son shocked the community, particularly the affluent area of Springvale.
Mr Clements was a popular Wagga man who was married and the father of four children. He trained as a teacher at the then Wagga Teachers College in the 1950s. His teaching career included a stint as a school principal in Canada.
Later, he contributed to the training of teachers with positions at Goulburn College of Advanced Education, which later became Charles Sturt University.
Mr Clements was a talented rugby league player and a sprinter in his youth before becoming a keen lawn bowler in his later years.
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