Prosecutors seek appeal of finding that man charged with rape unfit to be tried

Prosecutors seek appeal of finding that man charged with rape unfit to be tried

A man with intellectual disabilities who was charged with rape but found unfit to be tried must wait to hear the outcome of an appeal against the finding.

The 40-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had been charged with rape. However, following the admission of medical evidence from three consultant psychiatrists in the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Paul Carney ruled on March 3, 2015 that he was unfit to face trial.

The Director of Public Prosecutions have appealed against Mr Justice Carney's finding which was opened in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Counsel for the DPP, Marjorie Farrelly SC, told the three-judge court that one consultant psychiatrist gave evidence that the man had intellectual disabilities as well as an untreated depressive condition.

However, it would appear, according to a third consultant psychiatrist that the man did not present as depressed on the particular day that the third consultant assessed him, counsel submitted.

It was “entirely evident”, Ms Farrelly submitted, that there was no evidence that the man was suffering from depression on the day the judge ruled he was unfit to be tried.

Having risen momentarily, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the three-judge court had “a very clear view (that) this is an appeal which must be dismissed”. It was an appeal which sought to go against a finding of fact by the Central Criminal Court judge, he had remarked earlier.

The court will give reasons for its decision at a later date.

After taking instructions, Ms Farrelly turned to her second ground of appeal in relation to what should have happened after the judge ruled the man was unfit to be tried.

She said the judge must have either sent the man for inpatient care or outpatient care at a designated facility. He must have done one or the other, she submitted.

The practical implications of the second ground of appeal, Justice John Edwards remarked, was that the DPP either believed he was a threat to society if he did not receive treatment or the DPP wished to revisit his fitness to stand trial at a later date.

It was indicated that the DPP wished to revisit his fitness to stand trial.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court would reserve judgment on this second ground of appeal.