A MAN who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia was last week sentenced to prison for hitting his ex-partner, with Judge Catherine Staines saying that although she accepted his unfortunate situation such behaviour cannot be tolerated and he must continue to take his medication.
Before the court was Patrick Nugent, with an address listed at 5 Cullenwood, Mountmellick, charged with breaching a barring order at that same address on April 3 this year.
Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Nugent’s ex-partner suffered bruising to her right eye in the incident. There was a protection order in place at the time.
Nugent has 16 previous convictions, with a previous breach of a barring order committed back in 2009. The rest of his convictions are for drugs and public order offences.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen said that Nugent had been in care for 16 years. Nugent had a “huge drug problem” and had fallen foul of the law on several occasions. In 2007, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and has been on medication ever since, but he has a “pattern of wandering on and off his medication”.
“He had been off his medication for one week at the time and it had dramatic consequences,” said Mr Breen. “His recollection of what happened is extremely unclear. He’s very much ashamed of what he did.”
Mr Breen said that Nugent and his ex-partner had appeared in the family law court recently and a barring order is now in place.
Mr Breen told Judge Staines that Nugent now has regular contact with the injured party, with whom he has a daughter, and the two parties get on better now than when they were living together.
Mr Breen concluded by saying Nugent is back on his medication and is under the care of his doctor.
Judge Staines said she accepted Nugent’s situation, but he was aware that he had to take his medication.
“This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated, he assaulted a woman,” said the judge.
Nugent was sentenced to six months in prison. Recognizance was fixed in the event of an appeal, on Nugent’s own cash bond of €100 with an independent cash surety of €100.