JUDGE CALLS FOR SYSTEM TO DEAL WITH INSANE

December 16, 1993

A HIGH COURT Judge yesterday called for certain systems to be in place so the courts would better be able to deal with the insane.

Justice Lennox Deyalsingh, referring to a case involving a mentally ill man who pleaded guilty to five indictments before him, said: “The necessary authority needs to look into what structure can be put into place to deal with situations such as the one before me, because the courts are not fully equipped to handle such situations.”

However, Justice Deyalsingh noting that he had to protect society from such people, placed the mentally ill man. Clement Charles, on a $10,000 bond with instructions that he take his medication every month and report to the probation officer in his district for the next ten years.

Justice Deyalsingh, in passing sentences on Charles yesterday, also warned him that if he should ever miss one month’s medical treatment, he (Deyalsingh) would have brought him before the court again and jail him for ten years.

Dr Harry Maharaj, a psychiatrist attached to the St. Ann’s Hospital, earlier this week certified that Charles was mentally ill. He said Charles was first diagnosed as being psychotic in 1983, but further tests showed he had symptoms of a schizophrenic.

Charles of Talparo pleaded guilty on three counts of shooting at PCs Nadir Khan, Clayton Andrews and John Ramdeen, on June 20, 1983. He was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, on the same date.

Charles was placed in his mother’s care, with instructions from the trial judge that she must ensure that Charles takes his medicine each month and report to the district probation officer in the first day of each month.

Charles’ attorney Martin George, told Justice Deyalsingh that the court had handled this case with much tact and wise judgment, because the court had to balance the competing interest of both the society which needed to be protected and the accuse who would suffer if sent to prison.

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