Brendan McMahon’s application for his case to be considered under the Mental Health Act was denied today.
Judge Helen Symes found that while he met the criteria for consideration under section 32 of the act, she belived that the serious nature of the crime meant that the public interest would be best served by having the matter heard before the law.
McMahon has pleaded not guilty, and a date for a hearing will be set next thursday, the 23rd of December. The hearing will most likely take place in February or March of next year.
I must admit that I was not feeling hopeful that the courts would treat this matter with the serious consideration that I feel it deserves, and todays decision was somewhat of a relief. It is still very possible that he won’t receive a custodial sentence, but hearing the Magistrate use the words “protection of the public”, and “serious nature of the crime”, was a glimmer of hope in what has otherwise been a very bleak horizon.