1 March 2024

UPDATE: Jessie Gould refused bail after allegedly escaping from Adult Mental Health Unit

| Claire Fenwicke
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Adult Mental Health Unit

The Adult Mental Health Unit is a ‘closed’ facility located at the Canberra Hospital. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

UPDATE 2:30 pm – Jessie Raymond Gould has unsuccessfully applied for bail after being arrested for allegedly breaking out of Canberra Hospital’s Adult Mental Health Unit.

According to a police statement tendered to the court, the 32-year-old had been placed into the care and custody of the unit after being ordered to undergo a mental health assessment (referred to as a Section 309) by the courts.

On 18 February, security patrols at about 7:05 pm saw Mr Gould in his room.

It’s alleged Mr Gould forcibly removed the glass panel from his window a short time later before jumping down and over a small fence onto Yamba Drive in Garran.

“At the time the defendant was not discharged from the approved mental health facility and was still subject to the Section 309 order made by the ACT Magistrate’s Court,” the court documents stated.

“At no time was the defendant released or given permission to leave.”

Mr Gould was located by police at his grandfather’s home in Tumut on 28 February and placed under arrested.

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During his court appearance on Friday (1 March) he was formally charged with escape from arrest or custody.

Mr Gould has other charges before the courts.

His legal representative applied for bail on his behalf, which was opposed by the prosecution.

It was submitted this was because of his risk of re-offending or likelihood he would fail to attend the courts in the future.

Mr Gould’s legal counsel submitted his grandfather was a “strong support” for him and would be able to facilitate transport for future court appearances in Canberra.

It was also submitted while Mr Gould has no formal mental health diagnosis, he accepted he needed support and had been described by health staff as “help seeking”.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston refused bail as he had “no confidence” Mr Gould would return to court.

“[Your] three days at the hospital suggest there are mental health issues that need to be resolved as well,” he said.

Mr Gould is scheduled to return to court on 21 March.

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7:15 am – Police have successfully located Jessie Gould who they had been searching for after he allegedly broke out of the Canberra Hospital’s Adult Mental Health Unit.

The 32-year-old was arrested in NSW and extradited back to the ACT.

His alleged escape raised concerns about the security for people who had been court ordered to the hospital for a mental health assessment.

However it couldn’t be disclosed whether Mr Gould had been admitted as a patient to the Adult Mental Health Unit for treatment or had been awaiting further assessment there.

An initial review by Canberra Hospital found appropriate procedure had been followed.

Mr Gould is scheduled to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court today (1 March).

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