Rocky teen escapes penalty because of medical service gap
A TEENAGER with a history of serious offences has walked from court without any penalty for his latest criminal activities because of a medical health service gap.
A four-month gap in the disability health service system was discovered after the 18-year-old appeared in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court last week, having been deemed 'unfit to stand trial' by the court's mental health assessor.
This determination meant the court could dismiss the charges - burglary, two counts of enter premises and committing indictable offences, two counts of trespass, one of wilful damage of police property, public nuisance and four breaches of bail.
Police prosecutor Clancy Fox told the court police had no concerns about dismissing the charges, but were concerned that without help from the services the defendant was simply going to keep re-offending.
Under the Mental Health Act, a magistrate can dismiss charges laid against a person and refer them to services for help with mental health or disability such as Disability Services Queensland (DSQ) or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Mr Fox informed the court police had been advised the DSQ was no longer taking clients and the National Disability Insurance Scheme would not be set up in the city until the new year.
The court heard the other option for the court in this case was to refer the man to the Mental Health Court, however, Magistrate Cameron Press said the man would have to wait just as long to appear in that court.
A spokesman from the Disability Minister's office confirmed the Rockhampton DSQ was no longer taking new clients as the Beef Capital is transitioning to the NDIS.
As the transition reaches completion, DSQ will begin to wind up in the region.