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Not guilty, found insane

Police at the scene of the crash in Carterton which killed the Rev Jenny Henson last year. PHOTO/FILE

Rev. Jenny murder-accused can now be named

The Wairarapa man accused of the murder of Reverend Jenny Henson has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Trevor Shirkey, who can now be named following a hearing on Friday, was due to appear for a jury trial beginning today at the High Court.

The 48-year-old would now instead appear at a hearing in early August to determine what would happen to him.

Shirkey had faced a charge of murder, upgraded from a previous charge of manslaughter, after recklessly operating a motor vehicle.

Henson, 76, died at the scene of a three-car crash at the intersection of High St South [SH2] and Pembroke St on June 19 last year.

At the time, Wairarapa Police area commander Scott Miller said one of the vehicles involved was travelling on the wrong side of the road through a 50kmh area at an “excessive speed”.

Witnesses told the Times-Age the vehicle had reached an estimated speed of 100kmh.

One witness, who had been heading north in a line of slowly-moving traffic, said he had seen a red sports model Holden Commodore accelerating at full power from behind him in the opposite lane.

“My initial split-second thought was that’s a crazy passing move, they’re going to have to brake very hard,” he said.

“But we watched to our horror as they kept on accelerating and drove straight head-on into an either stopped or very slow-moving southbound car.

“The other car spun around, and debris went everywhere.”

‘Reverend Jenny’ was well-loved by the community, and had married, baptised, and consoled families at St Mark’s Anglican Church for more than two decades.

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