Mental health care of man who killed 83-year-old dog walker to be probed

David Johnstone was deemed 'not criminally responsible' for the killing of Frank Kinnis.

Mental health care  of man who killed 83-year-old dog walker to be probed at fatal accident inquiry in Elgin Police Scotland

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the killing of an 83-year-old pensioner by a man with a mental disorder is set to be opened.

David Johnstone was deemed to be “not criminally responsible for his conduct due to a mental disorder” after he left great-grandfather Frank Kinnis dead while he was out walking his dog and a further two injured and needing hospital treatment in attacks in Elgin in 2019.

He is currently being held at the State Hospital in Carstairs without a limit of time.

A notice of FAI posted by the Scottish Courts said that the upcoming inquiry, which will be held in Elgin, will “examine the mental health care and treatment provided by medical professionals to the said Mr. Johnstone prior to the incident”.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that during his trial, Johnstone’s parents had contacted NHS 24 twice trying to have their son sectioned following concerns for his well being.

Johnstone was acquitted after the Crown accepted his not guilty plea on the grounds that at the time he had not been able to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of his actions due to a mental disorder.

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The then 36-year-old was detained at Carstairs in conditions of special security at the psychiatric hospital in 2020 for the protection of the public.

Lord Uist at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that Johnstone had experienced psychotic symptoms for about three years before the attacks.

The notice of inquiry said: “Frank Yule Kinnis died as a result of being assaulted by David Johnstone, who was not criminally responsible for his conduct due to mental disorder at the time of the incident. 

“This inquiry is necessary to examine the mental health care and treatment provided by medical professionals to the said Mr. Johnstone prior to the incident.”

The inquiry is due to be held on January 23 and 24 at Elgin Sheriff Court.