Mentally ill attacker to get treatment

A man who admitted a series of violent offences, as well as a serious sexual assault on a woman last year, will be sentenced this month to mental treatment.

The Supreme Court also heard that legislation for the court-enforced treatment of mentally ill offenders is set to change in October 2020.

The decision for discharge from treatment will be switched to medical professionals, rather than remaining at the final say of the Minister of Health.

Acting Puisne Judge Craig Attridge heard yesterday that Jah-Rome Hill, 38, attacked a woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, at the doorway to her home in Sandys on the night of September 6, 2018.

Crown Prosecutor Alan Richards said Hill approached the resident, claiming to be visiting someone upstairs, and then attacked and sexually assaulted her as she went back into her apartment.

He told her: “If you keep screaming, you will make it worse.”

The woman sustained bruises as well as a cut to her mouth. Hill was caught by police that night at White Hill Lane as he attempted to hide behind a truck.

Hill pleaded guilty in July to serious sexual assault.

However, he appeared yesterday for a series of offences that he admitted in October of last year in Magistrates’ Court, after he attacked a female tourist and, hours later, two pizza shop employees in the West End.

Mr Richards said Hill grabbed the woman, who was walking near Somerset Bridge, at about 4.40pm on August 20, punched her, covered her mouth and pulled her to the ground.

He demanded cash, but relented when the woman offered to go to an ATM.

She broke free and got help nearby at Robinson’s Marina. Police were called, while Hill fled.

Hill struck again in the early hours of the next day when he attacked two Four Star Pizza staff with a piece of wood as they left the Sandys branch at about 1am.

Hill battered one of the men with the piece of wood and stole his wallet. He was arrested for both offences on September 4.

The court heard that Hill had used crack cocaine, which was believed to have triggered his mental disorder.

Richard Henagulph, a forensic psychiatrist who had assessed Hill twice, told the court that these were the defendant’s first serious offences.

Dr Henagulph recommended a period of three to five years’ restriction for a combination of clinical and substance abuse treatment to allow Hill’s gradual return to regular life.

Although the power to discharge that restriction at present lies with the minister, Dr Henagulph told the court that a new Mental Health Act was coming in one year.

The legislation will introduce community treatment orders, in which the power to discharge or recall a mentally ill offender would be delegated to medical professionals. Mr Justice Attridge adjourned the matter to later this month, requesting final written submissions from the Crown as well as from Elizabeth Christopher, who represents Hill. Hill was remanded into custody.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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