‘Manslaughter’ verdict

AN 44-year-old inmate at Silverwater Jail who strangled and bashed a fellow inmate to death in February last year, has been found guilty of manslaughter but not murder.

Inmate not guilty of murder over level of drug intoxication

Mervyn Davidson was already on remand for trying to choke a previous cellmate with a T-shirt a year earlier when he walked into 54-year-old Alfredo Pengue’s cell and closed the door behind him for 25 minutes.
Shortly afterwards another inmate found Mr Pengue lying on the ground of his cell and raised the alarm but he couldn’t be revived.
Mr Davidson had earlier been seen standing with his arms above his head with clenched fists and when asked if he was alright, replied that he would “kill them all”.‚Ä®Later when he was cautioned and informed that he was to be charged with murder, he told officers: “I know what I’m here for.
“Just hurry up and do the charge paperwork so I can go back to my cell and sleep.”‚Ä®He told the court that he had consumed five Xanax tablets and methamphetamine and didn’t remember killing Mr Pengue, who died from the combined effect of strangulation and blunt force trauma.
When asked why he had previously choked an inmate, he said: “I don’t remember, I was on ice”. ‚Ä®During the trial two psychiatrists agreed that Mr Davidson suffers from schizophrenia however Supreme Court Justice David Davis rejected his defence of mental illness, finding that he strangled Mr Pengue while under the influence of drugs.
While noting there was “some irrationality about the attack, Justice Davies said he couldn’t “be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt” that Mr Davidson was capable of forming the requisite intention to commit murder because of his intoxication.‚Ä®Mr Davidson will be sentenced later in the year.