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Banksia Grove woman Shanelle Govan charged over alleged stabbing of Laurie Dobson

The mother of a woman accused of stabbing a Perth grandfather in the head and neck in Perth’s northern suburbs says her “mentally ill” daughter has been let down by WA’s health system.

Laurie Dobson had reportedly only been in Banksia Grove on Friday around 10.30am to drop off a teddy bear for his grandchild.

The mum of Shanelle Govan speaking outside court: Serena Williams.
Camera IconThe mum of Shanelle Govan speaking outside court: Serena Williams. Credit: Phil Hickey

But then police say he was attacked by a stranger after trying to step in during a verbal argument between a man and a woman on Boomerang Loop.

Shanelle Govan, a 26-year-old former carer, allegedly attacked Mr Dobson with a knife, striking him in the upper head and neck area and was arrested and charged by Joondalup Detectives.

Serena Williams, Ms Govan’s mother, spoke outside Northbridge Magistrate’s Court today after her daughter appeared on a serious charge of aggravated unlawful wounding.

She said she had sought help for her daughter multiple times for mental health issues.

“She is very mentally ill actually, she has been for about a year-and-a-half and we’ve all tried to help,” Ms Williams said outside court.

“At Joondalup mental campus, but they keep sending her home.

“It’s very hard to get help in the mental health section … they don’t give them enough time to even evaluate the situation I believe.

“More help needs to be done with the mental health (system) it would really help the community.

She (Shanelle) wants mental help and she is not getting it at all.

Ms Williams said her thoughts went out to Mr Dobson, who is in stable condition in hospital, and his family.

“I am very sorry for the pain and suffering the man has endured,” she said.

Ms Govan’s sister Ruth Stevens also spoke outside court, saying her sister’s alleged actions were “so out of character”.

“Her heart is so pure and to lash out like this is just so out of character,” she said.

“To that man and his family I apologise and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Mr Dobson was rushed by ambulance to Joondalup Health Campus before being transferred to Royal Perth Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Bail was not considered for Ms Govan after the Northbridge Magistrates Court was told she was threatening self harm and was a potential risk to herself and others.

She was remanded in custody to face court again on Monday.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about suicide call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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