An elderly man charged with murdering his 75-year-old wife has advanced dementia and would not know where he was if he was brought before a court, a magistrate has been told.
John Huggins, 87, is accused of fatally stabbing his wife at their Guerin Avenue home in Piara Waters on Monday.
Mr Huggins was due to appear in Armadale Magistrates Court this morning but he was instead taken to hospital after Serco staff raised concerns about his health.
Magistrate Nicholas Lemmon raised concerns about his ability to deal with the matter, saying Mr Huggins had a right to appear in court.
But defence lawyer Seamus Rafferty said he had taken detailed instructions from his client’s sons and Mr Huggins “would not even know where he was” if he appeared.
Mr Rafferty said the stairs leading to the court would create difficulties for Mr Huggins, who was also experiencing bleeding.
“The primary issue for him is his personal welfare at the moment,” he said.
Mr Rafferty implored Mr Lemmon to make a hospital order, saying without this Mr Huggins would be sent to Hakea Prison after he was discharged.
“That is in nobody’s interest,” he said.
“Nobody will be running to the Supreme Court to say your honour has done the wrong thing.
“I think we have to be pragmatic about this sir because the consequences if your honour doesn’t make the order are fairly significant.
“Well, I will take away the word fairly, they are dire.”
Mr Lemmon told the court he was satisfied he had the power to make the order, meaning Mr Huggins will be remanded in the Frankland Centre at Graylands Hospital upon release from hospital.
It is understood a neighbour found the victim after becoming concerned when speaking to Mr Huggins as he wandered around in the front yard of his southern suburbs home.
Emergency services were called but the woman could not be saved.
It is believed Mr Huggins’ wife was his full-time carer.
Homicide detectives have not revealed what was used to stab the woman but it is understood the weapon was not found in the house.
Mr Lemmon ordered a report into Mr Huggins’ fitness to plead ahead of his appearance in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court next week.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.