Victoria Police v Samuel Carroll (Shepparton Magistrates Court, Magistrate Smith, 4 November 2013, reported in Shepparton News, 5 November 2013 at p. 7)
An interesting matter relating to bail was dealt with by the Shepparton Magistrates Court on 4 November.
Hat-tip to journalist Darren Linton whose report provided material for this casenote.
The defendant is charged with armed robbery, allegedly committed on 28 October 2013. He was released on bail, subject to (inter alia) a condition that he not drink alcohol. After his release, he was found to have been drinking and his bail was reviewed.
The defendant’s solicitor advised the court that the defendant is an alcoholic and no longer had an address to which he could be bailed. There were no readily available detoxification facilities to which he could be sent.
His Honour considered that the defendant should be remanded –
“for seven days while he’s detoxing. I know that it is much harder in custody than in a hospital [but] I’m not prepared to release him when he’s in the throws [sic] of cravings”
The defendant was remanded to appear again on 11 November 2013.
No actual application for bail was made by the defendant. However, the Court’s observations raise the interesting issue of whether a court should exercise a kind of parens patriae jurisdiction in these matters, by providing a person with a structured setting (admittedly, gaol) rather than bail them under conditions where a breach of bail – and by extension, a worsening of their position – might be almost inevitable.