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What’s going to happen to Mert Ney? The Sydney Terrorist

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blankOn the 13th of August, Sydney was rocked by what appeared to be a lone wolf style terrorist attack. Mert Ney was subsequently detained by civilians with a milk crate in what some describe as a citizens arrest of sorts. It’s been reported that Ney will defend the charges he is faced with under mental health provisions.

How do Mental Health Defences Work?

A standard mental health defence for a state charge is a two limb test.

  1. The defendant is (or was at the time of the alleged offending):
    • cognitively impaired, or
    • suffering from mental illness, or
    • suffering from a mental condition for which treatment is available in a mental health facility,

but is not a mentally ill person.

If part 1 is satisfied, then the 2nd limb is:

  1. Broadly speaking at the discretion of the Magistrate, it would be more appropriate to deal with the defendant under mental health provisions than otherwise by law.

Part of the Magistrate’s exercise in administering their discretion involves a consideration of the public interest. The more serious the offending, the more the Magistrate should consider protection of the community.

If Mert Ney continues his mental health defence against his charges, the presiding judicial official will have to consider the above test if the application is made under this section.

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What Happens Under a Successful Mental Health Defence?

If a s32 application is successful, the charge is dismissed and no conviction is recorded.

Am I eligible for a Mental Health Defence?

This depends on your individual circumstances. This defence often involves psychological reports provided by a professional practitioner. Different sections and therefore different tests apply dependent upon whether you are charged with a Commonwealth Offence or a State Offence. Please Book Online or Call to Discuss
 0466 570 085 


* Information contained in this article is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as concise legal advice.
Please contact us for legal advice tailored to your situation. *


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About Brian Walker

B.Acc., GradDipLegPrac, Juris Dr Barrister & Accountant. Former Criminal Defence Solicitor. Former Federal Prosecutor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuting Commonwealth crimes relating to drugs and child exploitation. Former Australian Federal Police member litigating proceeds of crime matters. Former Australian Taxation Office employee investigating offshore tax evasion matters.

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