Sunday 21 January 2018

Bed made available for detained man with paranoid schizophrenia

The Central Mental Hospital
The Central Mental Hospital

Tim Healy

A BED is being made available in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Dublin for a young man with paranoid schizophrenia who has been in prison on a charge of threatening to kill a psychiatrist, the High Court heard.

Lawyers for the man, aged in his twenties, had sought his release from prison saying he needed to be in hospital rather than prison given his condition.

The application for his release was adjourned until yesterday when High Court president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, was told he was next in line for a bed in the CMH and it should be available by today at the latest.

As a result, it had been agreed between the man's lawyers and those for the State, that the application for an inquiry into the legality of his detention could be withdrawn.

Mr Justice Kearns, who last week described the matter as "very worrying to say the least", said he was glad a positive solution had been found.  

The inquiry into his detention was sought after his lawyers said he was someone who  clearly needs psychiatric treatment.  He should be in hospital, not prison, which was not capable of addressing his mental health needs.

He is charged with with one count of threatening to kill his treating psychiatrist on a date in July 2012.

A consultant forensic psychiatrist who assessed him in April 2014 concluded he could avail of the defence of not guilty by reason of insanity, his counsel told the court.

The man was detained involuntarily in a hospital adult mental health unit since November 2013 and was also on bail concerning the charge against him.

Following an incident at the unit a week and a half ago, when he allegedly became violent and threatened staff, the State applied to revoke his bail on the threatening to kill charge on grounds there would be a serious likelihood of his committing another offence.

His lawyers provided a report to the District Court stating he was having a psychotic episode when this happened and he needed to be in hospital.

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