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Argy Bargy Killer* Makes a Bid for the Soft Touch of the Psych Ward

By 10 October 2007 27

ABC News is reporting on Matthew Raymond Nicholls and his attempts to be checked back into Canberra Hospitals’ Psych Ward. Riot ACT readers will recall this man as the one who shoulder charged an elderly woman in The Canberra Centre. She suffered a heart attack an hour later.

The surprising thing is, he has been in the Psych Ward due to his actions and checked himself out. Just like that. Thanks for the good times but he’s got a plane to catch.

His lawyer is applying for an ‘unfit to plea’ hearing on mental health grounds.

I can’t comment on the state of his mental health or the state of the legal system and it’s approach to the same. But the Psych Ward allowing him to be released, by himself, when he is there for being criminally dangerous seems grossly negligent.

*Allegedly

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27 Responses to
Argy Bargy Killer* Makes a Bid for the Soft Touch of the Psych Ward
Mr Evil 5:09 pm
10 Oct 07
#1

Maybe the ACT was violating his human rights by confining him in the psych ward?

Probably another case of the psych unit being cronically understaffed on the day he went walkies?

astrojax 5:15 pm
10 Oct 07
#2

that, or chronically under-regulated and legislatively inforced..???

what powers do ward staff have in these sort of cases?

sepi 5:38 pm
10 Oct 07
#3

I hope this is not true.

Speaking gnenerally though, I’ve always thought it was a flaw in teh system that lunatics get off scott free as soon as they are cured.

I think if you do a murder that would have got 10 years, and you are declared insane and sent to the loony bin, then when you are declared cured, and about to be let out, you should serve some proportion of a sentence for the crime committed. Especially if you are suddenly cured very soon after doing the crime.

szeretetta 5:43 pm
10 Oct 07
#4

It depends on what basis he was in the ward on:

If he was a voluntary patient, he can check himself out any time he wants.

If he was on an Emergency Detention order, he is in the ward against his will for assessment, but if a psychiatrist finds that he is not mentally ill at that time he is then free to go.

If he has an order from the Mental Health Tribunal, he is required to be in hospital if the treating psychiatrist deems it to be necessary.

Otherwise, there is always the option of going AWOL – absent without leave. These patients are reported to various authorities when they are found to be AWOL, but after a certain period of time being absent, they are discharged.

jackal 10:22 pm
10 Oct 07
#5

he wasn’t in the psych ward voluntarily, he was there under a magistrate’s order so he could be assessed and treated. while there, he just strolled out without anyone realising, not “checked himself out” as his lawyer told the court. apparently this happens often, as the psych ward is inadequately staffed. plus the staff there are nurses etc, not security guards equipped to handle the criminally insane. though it’s regarded by the courts as a secure facility, the hospital’s psych unit is anything but. nicholls is back in the remand centre.

TAD 10:27 pm
10 Oct 07
#6

A shitload of misinformation in that one. If you read the info from court.

– lady died of a torn aorta not a heart attack, half an hour after being pushed (not shoulder charged) into bike racks. The extra 30 mins was attempted resuscitation. Nicholls has been charged with manslaughter, the allegation being that the torn aorta was directly related to the alleged assault.

– Nicholls was ordered by the magistrate to undergo a mental health assessment at TCH Psychiatric Services Unit whilst still being remanded in custody. This unit is a secure mental health facility in name only and he escaped (not checked out).

– As the only other “secure mental health facility” Brian Hennessy House is full he was sent back to Belconnen Remand Centre.

TAD 10:30 pm
10 Oct 07
#7

Yeah what Jackal said………………..

jackal 10:49 pm
10 Oct 07
#8

to clarify TAD’s comment, the resuscitation attempts did not begin immediately after the push or shoulder charge. she actually got up after the push and continued shopping, went to the superbarn in the canberra centre, paid and left, then had the heart attack/heart problem, about half an hour after the incident. whether there was a link between the push and the heart failure will be for the courts to determine, unless of course nicholls is found not guilty because of his mental health issues.

MrMagoo 10:30 am
11 Oct 07
#9

He’s a nut he attacks old defenceless people and injures them. Lock him up end of the discussion.

BigDave 8:53 pm
11 Oct 07
#10

I’d agree with the fact that the guy is a complete waste of space and a lowlife. Unfortunately Canberra, especially Civic, seems to be full of them. It’s high time the authorities started doing something for the safety of the public. I’m sick to death of being hassled for change or cigarettes only to be verbally abused when refused. The Civic interchange is virtually a no-go area in my books.

sepi 7:34 am
12 Oct 07
#11

Yep – garema place and the pedestrian walk from the old Electric Shadows, the merrigoround and up to the bus interchange is a no-go zone at lunchtime due to all the aggressive beggars.

Thumper 8:23 am
12 Oct 07
#12

Yeah, the place is filled with scum, but it’s not really that bad…

Try the souks in the medina at Meknes if you want shady, dangerous characters. Man, I reckon you could buy a tank there if you wanted. Or get your balls cut off….

I do agree a bit more of a police prescence would be good, but it’s not downtown Bagdad.

RandomGit 8:52 am
12 Oct 07
#13

Didn’t see nothing yesterday. I’ll have another stroll through today but these huddled hordes of beggars are yet to materialise.

sepi 8:59 am
12 Oct 07
#14

they’re not all beggars – but they are all annoying. In one walk from Kathmandhu up to Garema place I might have to say no to a religious nutter, the red cross, battery chook protesters, junkie begger, fat gambling beggar, falung gong people, scientologists etc etc. They all come out at lunchtime – it is now easier just to walk the long way around the street.

Thumper 9:05 am
12 Oct 07
#15

Just tell them to politely go away, and if they continue then tell them firmly ‘f*ck off.’

That’s my general tact.

BigDave 8:30 am
13 Oct 07
#16

I don’t mind giving a couple of bucks to the Salvation Army etc. But for the guys like the Red Cross that’s not good enough. They’ll try to give you a 10 minute speech, then expect you to donate by direct debit monthly!! No way Jose!!
And how about the guys that ask for a “spare” cigarette?? I tell them I’m sorry but none of my cigarettes are spare, I’m fully intending to smoke them all. I’m not going to look in the packet, see there’s only a couple left so chuck them in the bin am I???
And don’t get me started on “spare” change either!

gm 11:09 am
13 Oct 07
#17

The psych ward simply hasnt got the beds/places to house the people they need to. You just need to check out the Main Entrance of TCH to see the people that are trying to get in there. It’s awful.
Some of these people are very unwell and a danger to themselves and others, as this guy is. Its a shame that our adequately funded health system can’t be managed well enough to provide the care that people need.

BigDave 1:38 pm
13 Oct 07
#18

It’s also a shame that the ACT government can spend huge amounts of money on statues for flawed politicians instead of giving something extra to the health system…

sepi 1:50 pm
13 Oct 07
#19

It’s a shame they cant’ admit there are issues with the health system, instead of saying it is world class.

Stateline had a couple of interviews with people about this. One guy went to hospital in an ambulance bleeding from his prior tonsil operation. The ambulance wouldn’t take him to Woden where he had his op, as it was the only amublance for the northside that day. Calvary told him they had no throat expert on, so he needed to get himself to Woden, asking his mum to drive him. He then brought up 500ml of blood and they got an ambulance. In the ambulance he had fits and passed out. Imagine if his mum was driving him. The system is stretched too thin.

Mr Evil 2:46 pm
13 Oct 07
#20

Well the ACT Govt has bigger issues than the poor state of our health system on its hands – people are being executed overseas, don’t you know!

QUID 9:14 pm
22 Oct 07
#21

My mother was the most beautiful, caring, loving & unselfish person Ive ever known. She was always proud of me and loved me unconditionally. She always taught me to forgive. Her life was tragically taken by this creaton yet she would have forgiven him. I will not forgive and I will not forget until justice is served. If only the law would allow for me her son, to choose his punishment by being left alone in the room with him just with my bare hands to decide his fate, surely that would be justice. He is supposed to be mentally insane yet is sane enough to manipulate the system and LEGALLY escaping lawful custody to get away with taking the innocent life of my mother. Does that make sense whatsoever to anyone What does anyone else think of that for punishment??

RandomGit 10:41 am
24 Oct 07
#22

Life is Cruel QUID. I am sorry for your loss. Hopefully someone wakes up and hammers this guy.

Thumper 10:57 am
24 Oct 07
#23

Agreed…

VYBerlinaV8...the_or 11:05 am
24 Oct 07
#24

Maybe people know where he lives…

QUID 3:52 pm
25 Oct 07
#25

Thanx guys coz Im 4000km from home and only getting dribs & drabs off the net and my sisters done seem 2 think I exist. But if any1 sees anthing in the news or knows wot day this f**ker goes back 2 court, could you please post it here so I can look it up. Still hurtin bad. Quid

BRUTHA 5:24 pm
25 Oct 07
#26

well honestly QUID i reckon this guy should be put in a white room and eat porage for the rest of his life as he did and un forgettable thing and will never be forgoten

QUID 3:37 pm
07 Nov 07
#27

Does any1 know when MATTHEW RAYMOND NICHOLLS is going 2 court?? Pls advise of any local nws about this guy

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