Application of Neilan
1990 WJSC-HC 509
THE HIGH COURT
THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
DPP, PEOPLE V PATRICK ELLIS UNREP CCC O'HANLON 9.2.90
HADFIELDS CASE 1800 27 ST 1281
LUNACY (IRELAND) ACT 1821
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND PUNISHMENT: FUNCTIONS OF JUDGE AND JURY 1954 CRIM LR P661
NOT GUILTY BECAUSE OF INSANITY 1968 IR JUR NS 61
R V FELSTEAD
ADAPTATIONS OF ENACTMENTS ACT 1922 S11(1)
CONSTITUTION SAORSTAT EIREANN ART 51
CONSTITUTION ART 49
O, STATE V O'BRIEN
CHILDREN ACT 1908 S103
CONSTITUTION ART 49.1
CONSTITUTION ART 6
CONSTITUTION ART 34.1
DEATON V AG
MCDONALD V BORD NA GCON
AG OF AUSTRALIA V THE QUEEN & ORS
DPP, PEOPLE V O'MAHONY
CHILDREN ACT 1908 S133
CONSTITUTION SAORSTAT EIREANN ART 66
CONSTITUTION ART 13.6
LYNHAM V BUTLER
UNITED ENGINEERING WORKERS UNION V DEVANAYAGAM
SHANAHAN, STATE V AG
SOLICITORS ACT 1954, IN RE
EAST DONEGAL CO-OPERATIVE LIVESTOCK MARTS LTD & ORS V AG
COURTS-MARTIAL APPEALS ACT 1983 S6
CONSTITUTION ART 50
TREATMENT & CARE OF PERSONS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL DISORDER WHO APPEAR BEFORE COURTS ON CRIMINAL CHARGES PRL 8275 3RD REP HENCHY COMM
CONSTITUTION SAORSTAT EIREANN ART 73
COMPANIES ACTS 1963–1986
CONSTITUTION SAORSTAT EIREANN ART 2
O'BRIEN V BORD NA MONA
C, STATE V MIN FOR JUSTICE
DEFENCE ACT 1954 S203
THEOBALD ON LUNACY P250
MENTAL TREATMENT ACT 1945 S165
Administration of justice - Criminal law - Trial - Special verdict - Guilty but insane - Victorian statute - Mandatory order of court - Detention until pleasure of Lord Lieutenant be known - Whether administration of justice involved - Enactment inconsistent with Constitution - (Central Criminal Court - Keane J. - 23/4/90) - -
|The People v. N.|
Validity - Severance - Criminal law - Trial - Indictment - Special verdict - Guilty but insane - Victorian statute - Mandatory order of court - Detention until pleasure of Lord Lieutenant be known - Whether administration of justice involved - Enactment inconsistent with Constitution - (Central Criminal Court - Keane J. - 23/4/90) - -
|The People v. N.|
Insanity - Form of order - Indictment - Charge proved - Insanity proved - Verdict of jury - Special statutory verdict - Guilty but insane - Periodic review of accused's detention - Whether review is a function of the Courts or of the Government - Statute - Validity - Severance - Constitution - Courts - Administration of justice - Trial of Lunatics Act, 1883, ss. 2, 3 - Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922, s. 11 - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Articles 6, 13, 34, 49, 50 - (Central Criminal Court - Keane J. - 23/4/90) - -
|The People v. N.|
WORDS AND PHRASES
"Lord Lieutenant's pleasure"
Offence - Trial - Indictment - Special verdict - Guilty but insane - Victorian statute - Mandatory order prescribed - Detention until pleasure of Lord Lieutenant be known - Whether administration of justice involved - Enactment inconsistent with Constitution - (Central Criminal Court - Keane J. - 23/4/90)
|The People v. N.|
Judgment delivered the 23rd day of April 1990 by Keane J.
The defendant was tried by a jury and myself on the 13th and 14th December 1983 on a charge that on the 1st January 1983 in the County of Galway he murdered Joseph O'Dea. He was duly arraigned and pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter. This plea was not accepted on behalf of the State. He was accordingly given in charge to the jury who found him guilty but insane on the charge of murder.
After the jury had returned their verdict, Counsel for the State and the defendant made submissions as to the appropriate form of order that should be made by the court. The curial part of the order made by me on the 14th December at the conclusion of the trial is as follows:
"And the court doth order that Francis Neilan be detained in the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, and in such other institutions suitable for the detention of insane persons to which he may from time to time be removed from there, until further order of this court".
It would appear that this form of order had been employed for a number of years in all cases in the Central Criminal Court where a jury returned a special verdict of "guilty but insane".
At the time of the offence with which he was charged, the defendant was suffering from an acute paranoid psychosis. The medical evidence adduced before me, however, on a number of subsequent applications to the court concerning his further detention established that his mental state had improved very rapidly with treatment and even prior to his trial he was considered well enough to be released on bail, during which time he complied with medication and out-patient treatment.
During the years which have elapsed since I made the order of December 14th 1983, a number of applications have been made to me on an informal basis in chambers relating to the defendant's continued detention. Initially, these applications were made by the Resident Medical Superintendent of the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum or, in his absence, by other psychiatrists attached to that institution. These applications were at first for accompanied parole and later for unaccompanied parole for the defendant to spend limited periods (usually not more than two or three nights) at the home of his mother in Gort, Co. Galway. I acceded to such applications on the basis of the medical reports placed before me which indicated that the defendant was no longer considered a danger to himself or other persons. On one occasion during the long vacation, when I was apparently unavailable, a similar order was made by the President. When the first such application was made to me, I was informed by the Registrar that this procedure of dealing with such applications in chambers had been followed since the form of order made by me on 14th December 1983 had been first introduced.
With the passage of time, those responsible for the defendant's continued supervision and treatment were satisfied that it would be appropriate to release him for limited periods of time so as to stay either with his mother or other members of his family without being accompanied by a member of the hospital staff. Eventually, it was thought desirable to apply to the court for an order transferring him from the Central Mental Hospital to St. Brigid Psychiatric Hospital, Ballinasloe, an institution under the control of the Western Health Board. As this was an application for a more radical alteration in the custody of the defendant, I considered it desirable that it should be dealt with in open court on notice to the Director of Public Prosecutions. At the hearing, oral evidence was given by the medical experts which confirmed the view already expressed that the defendant had made a satisfactory recovery from his mental illness and that a more liberal custodial regime would not be a source of danger either for himself or any other people. It was suggested by the medical witnesses at that hearing that the transfer of the defendant to the hospital in Ballinasloe would make it easier to allow him increasing periods at home with a view to his eventual discharge with out-patient follow-up at the discretion of the Medical Superintendent and with the consent of the court. At the hearing, a Garda officer who was called on behalf of the D.P.P. gave evidence that there was some disquiet in the neighbourhood at the prospect of the defendant's release. Having considered the evidence, I acceded to the application for the transfer of the defendant to the hospital for a trial period of eight weeks.
There was then a further application on the 2nd May 1989 for an order transferring the defendant indefinitely to the hospital in Ballinasloe with a view to his ultimate discharge. At that hearing, I ordered that the defendant should be transferred to the hospital in Ballinasloe until further order but that he should not be allowed to leave the hospital without the Registrar being informed and further directions obtained.
On January 17th 1990, the Solicitors for the defendant gave notice of motion for an application to the court for an order inter aliathat the defendant be released into the care of the Medical Superintendent of St. Brigid's Psychiatric Hospital, Ballinasloe or that he be discharged to the out-patient care of that hospital. After the motion had been served but before it had been heard, O'Hanlon J gave judgment in the case of The People (At the suit of the D.P.P.) v Patrick Ellis (unreported; judgment delivered 9th February 1990). The defendant in that case had been tried before O'Hanlon J and a jury in the Central Criminal Court in June 1987 on a charge of murder and the jury had also in that case returned a verdict of "guilty but insane". The learned trial judge had made an order similar to that made by me in the present case, i.e. that the defendant should be detained in the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, until further order made by the High Court. He was so detained until the month of July 1989 when an application was made for his release grounded upon evidence that the applicant was sane in all respects and was not suffering from any disease of the mind which would justify his continued detention in the Central Mental Hospital. O'Hanlon J, having directed that further reports should...
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