Plinio Galfetti v Regina: CACD 31 Jul 2002

The defendant had been convicted of various offences of violence but then was then to be held in a secure mental hospital. A place was not available, and an order only became available some nine months later, at which time, he argued that the order was no longer appropriate. In the meantime the defendant had also applied to the Mental Health review Tribunal, who had mistakenly decided that there was no longer any need to hold him. The psychiatrists disagreed. He argued that he was now held unlawfully, and in breach of his human rights because of the substantial delay.
Held: Section 38 is to be used to hold a patient for assessment, not to hold him until a place could be found. The Court of Criminal Appeal had to act within its powers under the 1968 Act, but these included the power to make a hospital order. The nature of the earlier orders to delay sentence by the Crown Court were not capable of being appealed. There had been an excessive delay. However the delay affected both defendant and complainant, and the defendant could not simply say that the case could not proceed because of the infringement of his rights. The judge’s order was in accordance with the evidence before him and was correct.


Lord Justice May


[2002] EWCA Crim 1916




Mental Health Act 1983 37, European Convention on Human Rights Art 6


England and Wales


CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 2 of 2001) CACD 12-Jul-2001
When assessing whether the defendant’s right to a trial within a reasonable time had been infringed, the court should look as from the date at which he was charged, or served with a summons, and not from the date of the first interview. Although a . .
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Crime, Health, Human Rights

Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.174451