Downing Centre Local Court
Represented by a Criminal Defence Solicitor.
Case Facts: Our client was charged with an offence of steal property as a clerk/servant. During the initial conference it was ascertained that our client was potentially suffering from a mental health condition or illness which may have affected her behaviour leading to the offence. We advised our client that she could possibly avoid being dealt with under the criminal justice system.
Case Result The solicitor engaged a psychologist to confirm the client’s diagnosis and made an application for the matter to be dealt with under s32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act. These applications are difficult. However, the solicitor successfully convinced the magistrate that the client should be diverted from the criminal justice system to continue her treatment. No criminal conviction was recorded and the charge was dismissed. In addition, the treatment plan provided by the psychologist stated that treatment would need to be undertaken on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The solicitor successfully submitted that this frequency be reduced in order to take into account the client’s financial circumstances. The order stated that our client attend on her psychologist as and when she was financially able to do so.