A 46-year-old mother accused of attempting to murder her eight-year-old daughter is awaiting a bed at the Central Mental Hospital where she is due to undergo a forensic psychiatric assessment, a court has heard.
At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, the woman appeared for the fifth time in connection with the charge of attempted murder of her daughter at a temporary accommodation facility in Co Clare where they had been staying. The alleged incident took place on September 27th, 2022.
The accused requires the services of a Russian language interpreter for the court hearings and after the interpreter told her the content of the exchanges between Judge Alec Gabbett and the woman’s solicitor, Tara Godfrey, the woman broke down and cried.
Ms Godfrey said “remand in prison has been very distressing” for the woman, who appeared via videolink from the women’s wing at Limerick Prison.
The court heard the accused is awaiting a bed at the Central Mental Hospital under section 15 of the Criminal Law Insanity Act, with Ms Godfrey stating her client is still waiting on the Book of Evidence in the case, adding it is now 71 days since she has been charged.
The judge said the Book of Evidence is required for a proper forensic psychiatric assessment at the time of the commission of the alleged offence to be carried out on her client.
However, Ms Goffrey remarked there “is an urgency” attached to the case.
Ms Godfrey added her client has an application for bail before the High Court, but for the accused to be released on bail it requires a report from the Central Mental Hospital.
Sgt Aiden Lonergan told the court the case is being given “the highest priority”.
Sgt Lonergan said medical reports have been received but have to be put in a statement format for the Book of Evidence.
The court previously extended the accused woman’s legal aid certificate to cover a forensic psychiatric report after Ms Godfrey said her client “had been in psychiatric in-patient treatment from September up to the date she was brought to the Garda station, so we have a chain of custody of my client since the alleged event”.
The accused was first arrested and brought to Ennis Garda station for questioning on March 14th and was later brought before a special sitting of Ennis District Court the following day when she was charged.
The accused made no reply after charge and caution, the court heard.
Judge Gabbett remanded the woman in custody to appear via videolink at Ennis District Court again on June 14th.