Sunday 24 September 2017

‘Disturbed’ man committed to Central Mental Hospital after being found unfit to stand trial

Natasha Reid

A ‘seriously disturbed’ man charged with killing a person in 2010 has been committed to the Central Mental Hospital after being found unfit to plead or stand trial.

The 31-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is considered by the DPP to be ‘a serious threat’ to the public.



He was prevented from being released onto the street last week after days of legal proceedings.



He had been committed to the hospital earlier this year after being found unfit to plead or stand trial. However, he brought a High Court challenge to his detention, which led to the case being back before the Central Criminal Court today.



A consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital said he was satisfied that the accused suffered from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act.



“He suffers from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, which is proving resistant to treatment,” Dr Damien Mohan testified today.



He said that the accused would not be suitable for outpatient treatment because he remained at risk of harming others, particularly at high risk of harming his mother.



He said the man had already exceeded the capacity of his local catchment area and required on-going management in a therapeutic setting in the Central Mental Hospital.



“He would be unfit to plead. He doesn’t understand the nature of the charge,” he explained, adding that the man had perceived the jury to be witnesses.



“He would not receive a fair trial,” he said,



Earlier this month, a High Court judge described the man as ‘possibly the most seriously disturbed individual currently detained in civil confinement in the State’.



However Mr Justice Gerard Hogan found that, due to a technicality, he was ‘in unlawful custody’. He put a stay on the order and another judge ordered the man’s detention until today, pending the doctor’s report.



Paul Coffey SC, for the DPP, yesterday asked Mr Justice Paul Carney to make a committal order, committing the man to the care of the Central Mental Hospital.



The man was not in court when the judge made the order committing him.

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