Lawyer for man accused of Whanganui stabbings to explore insanity defence for murder charge

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Inspector Nigel Allan confirmed man a 36-year-old man has been charged over the January 22 incident. Source: 1 NEWS

The man charged with the murder of a woman in Whanganui yesterday has been granted interim name suppression on the grounds that a report be completed to see if insanity is a viable defence for him.

The 36-year-old man appeared in Whanganui District Court today after being charged with murder, as well as five other charges of grievous bodily harm after he fatally stabbed a woman and left five people with injuries.

Five people were were hospitalised following a stabbing in Whanganui today. Source: 1 NEWS

The incident occurred in the central city at Wicksteed Street at around 4.15pm yesterday.

The man's lawyer argued for interim name suppression on the grounds that a section 38 report be completed. The report will explore whether insanity is available as a defence or whether the man is fit to plead. 

Judge Chris Sygrove granted the request and ordered the man to be remanded in custody until February 11.

Police are not looking for anyone else over the incident.

Five surviving victims were admitted to Whanganui Hospital last night with injuries ranging from moderate to serious.

One person has since been discharged.

"We know this has been a traumatic incident for all involved, along with Victim Support we are working hard to support those involved, their whānau and our staff," said Whanganui Area Commander Nigel Allan.

Police recognised it was an unsettling time for the community, but Mr Allan said police were "absolutely committed to ensuring that the people of Whanganui are safe and feel safe".

"I can assure the community there is no ongoing risk to the public as a result of this incident," he said.

Mr Allan thanked members of the public at the scene who assisted police and provided first aid to victims.