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Expert Witness Story

Think Psychology was instructed to conduct an assessment and prepare a report at the request of a local firm of solicitors. Their client had been charged with one count of making a threat to kill and one count of assault.

The charges related to an incident that occurred after a local woman attending her GP surgery the surgery in a distressed state. She had told the GP that her husband had attacked her with a knife. The GP noted a number of lacerations, bruising, and scratches to her body. Her husband had apparently threatened to kill her and had allegedly gone on to assault her with a knife. He was subsequently arrested at his home address, and at interview, admitted to a physical altercation with his wife, although denied having used any weapon.

Think Psychology was instructed to see the husband and interview him with a view to preparing a psychological assessment report for the Court to address the state of his mental health.

He had some difficulty fully engaging with the assessment process due to reported problems with his memory and observed problems with clearly and concisely organising his thoughts. In assessing his personality and mental health functioning, it was evident that had a history of depression and anxiety and had received several years of mental health care in respect of this. He had also experienced vascular problems some months prior to the offence. His wife’s statement suggested that this was accompanied by personality changes, notably an increase in his paranoia and hostility, which culminated in her leaving him, as she was unable to tolerate his behaviour towards her. The evidence from the assessment strongly suggested some organic impairment subsequent to his vascular problems, which had had a negative impact upon his mental state and possibly accounted for his behaviour in assaulting his wife. Recommendations were made to the Court in respect of sentencing options.

 

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