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Section 35: Remand to hospital for report on accused’s mental condition

This is available to a magistrates’ court or Crown Court, except in murder cases, where (s35(3)):

(a) the court is satisfied, on the written or oral evidence of a registered medical practitioner, that there is reason to suspect that the accused person is suffering from mental disorder; and

(b) the court is of the opinion that it would be impracticable for a report on his mental condition to be made if he were remanded on bail.

By s35(7): ‘An accused person shall not be remanded or further remanded under this section for more than 28 days at a time or for more than 12 weeks in all; and the court may at any time terminate the remand if it appears to the court that it is appropriate to do so.’

In R (M) v Kingston Crown Court [2014] MHLO 50 (DC) the trial judge used this section in order to obtain evidence about intent to commit GBH. His order was quashed because the proper purpose is to inform the court of a defendant’s fitness to plead and his diagnosis, not to advance one party’s case.

The only route to discharge is via the court process.

The patient is not subject to the Part 4 ‘Consent to Treatment’ provisions. The patient could be detained simultaneously under Part 2 in order to bring him within the compulsory treatment provisions.

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