Solicitor: Danielle Warren
Court: Brisbane Magistrates Court
Date: March 2017
Our client was released on parole in relation to other matters for one day before he committed the first six offences. The further six offences were committed two days later.
Our client had an extensive and relevant criminal history.
He had a lengthy background of contact with Queensland Health and had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He also had comorbid diagnoses of substance use disorders.
We referred our client to the Court Liaison Service in Brisbane to be assessed by a psychiatrist to determine whether he was of unsound mind at the time of the offending and if he was fit to instruct us and enter a plea in relation to these charges. The psychiatrist was of the opinion that our client was of unsound mind at the time of committing the first six offences only. This meant that our client had a mental health defence available to him for those offences. They were also of the opinion that he was fit to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Given that all of these charges are able to be determined in the Magistrates Court, the magistrate had a number of options available to them; including the power to dismiss the charges if they agreed that our client was of unsound mind at the time of the offending. The first six offences were ultimately dismissed due to our client’s mental health at the time of the offences.
Our client pleaded guilty to the remaining six offences (charges 7-12). Our client’s mental health history was an important factor in the sentencing process. We relied upon the report from the Court Liaison Service psychiatrist to demonstrate that there was a significant causal relationship between the mental disorders and the offending.
This is a summary of an actual case. Details have been omitted to protect the privacy of our client. We select cases which are informative and no guarantee is provided that similar results are achievable in all cases. Every case is different and you should obtain legal advice specific to your matter and circumstances.