Man who stripped naked and chased women in Cork ordered to be kept in mental hospital

Man who stripped naked and chased women in Cork ordered to be kept in mental hospital

An order was made yesterday to keep a man in the Central Mental Hospital for treatment in a case where he stripped naked last January and chased three women in Cork city.

The case came back before Judge Brian O’Callaghan to decide what should be done with the accused following the finding earlier this month that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Evidence was given yesterday by one witness from the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul O’Connell.

He expressed the opinion at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the accused man was suffering from a major mental illness at the time of the offences, and continued to exhibit signs of this psychosis while being examined and treated at the hospital.

Dr O’Connell said that before he examined the patient for yesterday’s hearing, there had been some suggestion that his mental state was improving. When interviewed, he minimises and denies his behaviour and the existence of symptoms.

The accused told the psychiatrist he only heard voices at the time when he was committing the offences that gave rise to the case.

However, nursing staff reported seeing him appearing to respond to voices when he was at Cork University Hospital in the past fortnight.

“He repeats he is mentally well,” Dr O’Connell said.

He does not appreciate the gravity of symptoms or the likely effect of his behaviour towards others. I am quite concerned he is trying to be released and get his liberty … He remains psychotic and is mentally ill. In my opinion he has mental illness with risk of him causing harm to himself or other persons.

Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said there was a report before the court prepared by Dr Francis John Kelly, consultant forensic psychiatrist, where he said that the accused could be injected with his anti-psychotic medication and could be released.

Dr O’Connell said he disagreed with the view that the patient could be released, but agreed that injecting the accused with medication would be better than giving it to him orally as it appeared that in the past he had been spitting out his medication on occasions.

Judge O’Callaghan committed the young man to the CMH, stating: “He is indeed suffering a mental disorder and is in need of in-patient care at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

“I make an order committing him until such time as such a further order is made under the legislation.”

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