View Full Version : Accused unsettled psychiatrist

15-Jun-13, 08:33
Wick man alleged to have barked like a dog at bus passenger
A SHERIFF yesterday remanded a man alleged to have “barked like a dog” at a teenage bus passenger and unsettled a psychiatrist who called at his home to assess him.
Wick Sheriff Court was told, on Wednesday, that the psychiatrist didn’t feel safe in Alexander McPhee’s company and had not been able to carry out the examination required by the defence. The assessment was necessary, to establish whether the 45-year-old was sane and fit to plead.
McPhee, of 33 Cairndhuna Terrace, Wick had previously recorded a not guilty plea to three charges of threatening or abusive behaviour on a public service bus. The accused is alleged to have struck up unwelcome conversations with four teenage girls ,on the bus travelling between Wick and Thurso, in October, gave one of them such a strong handshake that it caused her pain, repeatedly touched another of them on her head, stroked her hair and barked at her in “a dog-like manner” and forced the girls to squeeze past him in order to get off the bus.
Solicitor Zoe MacDonnell said that McPhee’s behaviour towards the psychiatrist made him feel “unsafe” and added: “I can’t get instructions and don’t know if the accused is sane and fit to plead.”
The case was continued to investigate whether an alternative venue for the assessment could be found, but yesterday the court was informed that the psychiatrist did not wish to make another attempt at an assessment.
Solicitor Neil Wilson, who became involved in the case yesterday, suggested that the solution might be for the court to order the assessment as opposed to the defence.
Sheriff Andrew Berry agreed, pointing out that the accused had a obligation to co-operate and told him: “Your trial was unable to proceed, because of concern about your mental health. An assessment has not been possible but still requires to be done. In your interest and in the interest of justice, I am withdrawing bail and remanding you in custody.”
Steps are meantime to be taken to find an alternative psychiatrist to carry out the assessment at a venue other that McPhee's home, and the case was continued until June 28.