A Defence solicitor has criticised Gardai based in Dundalk Garda Station, who she says keep bailing her client after he’s arrested for very minor offences, instead of having him sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
The local district court heard last Wednesday that the defendant – who failed to appear for the case, has a history of psychiatric illness since he was a child.
The 28 year old man – who is of no fixed abode, had been bailed at Dundalk garda station to appear on a charge of stealing six crème eggs valued at €4.50, from Dealz, Earl Street, Dundalk on January 27th last.
His solicitor argued that he keeps being charged with minor offences including being intoxicated in a public place, when he doesn’t drink.
She added that the Circuit Court is already dealing with the fitness to plead issue in relation to other matters before the district court.
The court heard the man is currently living in his father’s back garden and the solicitor stressed that he needs to be sectioned in order to get the help that’s required.
She outlined how on the last occasion her client had spent three or four months in custody, but he had been released to the Department of Psychiatry at Crosslanes, Drogheda, where he was put on meds and released.
The solicitor further argued that her client wouldn’t even understand what a bail bond is and wouldn’t know he should be in court.
The court heard he’s been in and out of psychiatric facilities from the age of 12.
Judge Eirinn McKiernan issued a bench warrant saying: ”We’ll see what we can do”.