Otorohanga stabbings: Mother concerned about son's mental health before stabbing

Ross Bremner (supplied)
Ross Bremner (supplied)

A family friend of the Bremner family says Claire Bremner raised concerns about her son's mental health more than a week before she was killed.

It's believed Ross Bremner killed Claire in a knife attack in her Otorohanga home on Tuesday night. Her husband was critically injured in the stabbing.

Dennis Kaumoana says Ms Bremner contacted the Henry Bennett Centre, where Ross Bremner had previously spent time as a patient.

"Claire did have big concerns when she came over to see me about Ross, and I said to her just ring the Henry Bennett Centre, get them to come out and assess him and see how we go from there."

"My message to [the Waikato DHB] is that someone's got to be [held accountable] up in the Henry Bennett Centre," says Mr Kaumoana. "I don't know how they are going to overcome this, but it really needs to be looked into."

Mr Kaumoana is extremely critical of the DHB, saying they care more about the bottom line than the patients.

"When we had Tokanui (a former psychiatric hospital) open there was a lot more care being done. Whereas at the Henry Bennett Centre now, at Waikato Hospital, I don't really think they're stepping up to the mark.

"The thing is it's too late now. Everything is done."

A memorial service was held at the family home this morning. A kowhai tree was planted in Ms Bremner's memory.

Ross Bremner had been a patient of the Waikato DHB's Mental Health and Addiction Services since 2003.

"He had a number of brief inpatient stays in Henry Bennett Centre at Waikato Hospital from October 2003 to January 2007," Waikato DHB said in a statement.

The Waikato DHB says in the wake of Ross Bremner's death a review will be conduct, headed by an independent psychiatrist.

The Waikato DHB has been approached for further comment.