Husband who allegedly stabbed his wife and daughter, 6, to death before turning knife on himself will attempt to escape murder charges by arguing mental impairment
- Prabhal Sharma allegedly stabbed wife Poonam and daughter Vanessa to death
- Mother-of-two, 39, frantically dashed to her neighbour’s house for help
- Her ten-year-old daughter Angela managed to escape the situation unharmed
- Sharma self-harmed when police arrived and was only saved by surgeons
- On Tuesday his lawyer asked a forensic doctor assess him for possible defence
A man accused of butchering his wife and child in a crime that shocked the country is attempting to escape murder charges with claims of mental impairment.
Prabhal Sharma, 40, allegedly stabbed to death Poonam Sharma and their six-year-old daughter Vanessa, at her home on Kellaway Crescent in Mill Park, north-east of Melbourne, on January 13.
Their ten-year-old daughter Angela miraculously managed to escape the scene without physical injury.
The taxi driver (pictured with his wife Poonam Sharma and daughters, Vanessa, six, and Angela, 10) allegedly stabbed the 39-year-old dental nurse and his youngest daughter
Vanessa and her big sister Angela are pictured. Their father Prabhal Sharma allegedly turned up at their family home with a knife
On Tuesday, Sharma’s lawyer Raphael de Vietri told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court his client was in the process of organising access to a forensic psychiatrist in the hope of running a mental impairment defence.
The unnamed psychiatrist is scheduled to assess Sharma in late June, with the outcome of that report expected to be revealed sometime in July.
Should forensic experts engaged by both prosecution and the defence agree that Sharma was not fit to plead to the charge of murder by way of mental impairment, the alleged killer would instead be sent to a psychiatric facility.
Sharma, who appeared in court via video link from the Metropolitan Remand Centre, made no comment during the brief administrative hearing.
His dental nurse wife, aged 39, had ran to a neighbour’s house for help, leaving a bloody handprint on their front door.
Police allege Sharma followed her as she tried to dash to safety.
The mother-of-two tragically died at the scene, while Vanessa was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
The little girl died shortly after.
Pictured: Police at the scene where Sharma allegedly stabbed his wife and daughter
Neighbours left flowers for the Sharma family after a mother and daughter died
Neighbours said they heard screams from the property in Mill Park, north-east Melbourne
At the time, Detective Inspector Dean Thomas told reporters Sharma self-harmed when approached by police.
He was taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he remained under police guard until he was stable enough for questioning.
Sharma showed no signs of injury during his court appearance on Tuesday.
Alleged details of his offending had shocked Melburnians.
‘It is believed the 39-year-old victim ran from her home to the neighbour’s house for help, and she’s been pursued by the offender,’ Inspector Thomas said during a press conference then.
When asked whether detectives would question the surviving girl, Inspector Thomas said police would approach her with caution.
‘It’s very difficult, she’s going through an absolutely terrible, traumatic incident,’ he said.
‘She’s been through a terrible terrible incident so we want to make sure she’s as good as you can be.’
It remains unclear why police allege Sharma snapped and murdered his family members.
Sharma will return to court on July 29.
Poonam Sharma, 39, and her daughter, six, were killed after an alleged stabbing at her home in Melbourne (pictured)
Pictured: Flowers where Poonam Sharma and her six-year-old daughter died after an alleged stabbing
Flowers and a doll were laid at the scene where a young family lost their lives in January (pictured)