Kissel found to be depressed in 2005

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 March, 2011, 12:00am

Nancy Kissel, accused of murdering her investment banker husband, had symptoms of anxiety and severe depression that warranted clinical attention, according to a report in 2005, a court heard yesterday.

The results of a psychometric assessment were presented yesterday as psychologist Dr Calais Chan Kin-yuen testified at the Court of First Instance, where the American mother of three (pictured) is being retried.

Kissel, now 46, is accused of murdering her husband, Robert Kissel, 40, on or about November 2, 2003. She has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, which the prosecution does not accept.

'She was found to suffer from significant symptoms of anxiety and major depression of sufficient severity that warrants formal diagnosis and clinical attention,' Chan said, reading from the April 2005 report in court yesterday.

He said she presented a 'maladaptive pattern of personality functioning' characterised by features and symptoms of schizoid, dependent and self-defeating personalities. 'Mrs Kissel was found to demonstrate a 'psychotic' tendency or vulnerability of losing touch with her reality in the form of having thought disorders and delusional experiences,' he said. Chan was speaking as Kissel's defence team continued to put forward their client's case.

The retrial, before a jury of nine, is in its seventh week.

Prosecutors say Kissel bludgeoned Robert Kissel to death. The Merrill Lynch banker had allegedly drunk a drug-laced milkshake.

Kissel's lawyers argue the prosecutors' case of cold-blooded murder makes no sense and that she had been suffering from depression. Chan said Kissel had scored unusually highly for severe and chronic depression.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Andrew Macrae.