Mentally handicapped or hallucinating?

APIA: 5 August 2009 – A young man considered to be mentally handicapped has been referred for medical advice before he can stand to answer charges against him in court. Magistrate Tauiliili Harry Schuster instructed the parents of the man to see a doctor for a report to determine if the accused knew the charges against him and why he was in court.

Father of the young man asked the court if his son could still be held in custody for safety reasons as he damages things at home when he undergoes mental changes.

The judge however stated that prison is no place for a mentally sick person as it will not be safe for him.

The father explained that his son becomes dangerous under the influence of a hallucinating mushroom; he destroys things in the house and swears a lot. The father told the court that a parents love for their children will always remain but his son must be restrained to protect the public and himself.

The Court then accepted the father explanation and instructed the young man to be held at the youth rehabilitation centre inland of Mulifanua village and to await a medical report. The young man will reappear in court of the 7th of October.

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