Burglary and Other Charges – Accused Mentally Impaired
This is a case study on withdrawing a charge of Burglary with a mentally impaired accused. Other charges are also involved, some of which were also withdrawn and the remaining charges ultimately sentenced to an adjourned undertaking.
Our client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago. Two days prior to the offending, he had stopped taking his medication and suffered a relapse. It must be noted that this client has a very limited criminal history and he only had one prior court appearance some 10 years previously.
Hester Kelly represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on the following charges:
- Contravene Family Safety Notice
- Criminal Damage
- Commit Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail
- Contravene Bail Conduct Conditions
Reports were obtained in relation to the client’s mental impairment. The matter went to summary case conference and had even been ‘upstairs’ to the County Court. However prior to the plea, a number of charges were withdrawn. The matter resolved on a plea of guilty to 5 charges, with the more serious charges of burglary being withdrawn.
The client ultimately received an adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour for 12 months, with the condition that he continues to engage with the Waratah clinic. This was an excellent outcome as the sentence reflected the role of the client’s mental health on the offending. This result was achieved by ensuring that the magistrate had a complete picture of the client’s mental health, including the excellent progress he had made since the offending (i.e. was compliant with medication).
The client was incredibly happy with the outcome and was overjoyed that both the magistrate and Kelly could see him for the person that he was and not someone defined by his mental illness (and the offences he had committed). A case involving multiple offences, including the serious charge of burglary and an accused that is mentally impaired, could have very well ended with an unfavourable result if not for the careful examination of the circumstances and expert planning of all legal submissions made before the court.
Hester graduated with First Class Honours in Law in 2012 from Monash University, with a degree in Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws. She completed two internships at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and has volunteered with the HIV/Aids Legal Centre in Melbourne.
Visit this page to know more about Hester.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 07/04/2017