Warwick man who strangled mother refuses to pay for psychiatric examination

Warwick Crown Court at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington.
Warwick Crown Court at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington.

A Warwick man who tried to strangle his 89-year-old mother has refused to be examined by a psychiatrist – because he will have to pay for it himself.

Clive Cheshire had pleaded guilty to assaulting his mother Margaret in December last year and two charges of making threats to kill her.

Warwick Crown Court has heard that Cheshire, 66, who had lived with his mother in Cornwall Close, made the first threat directly to her and the second to a police officer when he was arrested.

At a hearing in February Judge Alan Parker adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Cheshire, who he said he believed might pose a danger to the public.

But following the adjournment, Judge Parker asked why there was still no psychiatric report.

Martin Groves, defending, said: “He’s privately funded, and he’s not prepared to pay for a report.

“He would be prepared to co-operate with a report, but is not prepared to pay for it.”

If Cheshire had been eligible for legal aid, the cost of the report would have been met by the Legal Aid Commission.

But because he has savings of around £8,000 he has to pay all his defence costs himself – including any psychiatric report, which Mr Groves said was likely to cost around £1,200.

Judge Parker said he did not see why the public should pay for the report, commenting: “He’ll have to be dealt with without one, but it seems to me the consequences might be serious.

“He may well have been acting as a result of a psychosis but if there is no report I have to proceed on the basis that he was not suffering from a psychotic episode.”

Mr Groves pointed out: “He doesn’t seem to care what happens to him, which is in itself worrying.”

And he said that Cheshire wanted to be sentenced without a report, and has indicated that if his family use his money, to which they have access, to pay for a report he will not co-operate with it.

Giving a further opportunity for a report to be prepared, and remanding Cheshire in custody, Judge Parker said: “I’m not ordering the public to pay for it. I expect those who have the defendant’s best interests at heart to make the funds available.”