Perth judge overturns ruling revoking bail of man with Asperger's syndrome

A Supreme Court judge in Perth has overturned a decision to revoke the bail of a man with a mental disability, who a magistrate claimed was "playing games" by failing to "engage" during a court appearance.

After an urgent hearing, Justice Stephen Hall ruled Nima Afrasiabi, who has Asperger's syndrome and symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder, should not have been remanded in custody by the magistrate when he answered his bail and appeared in the Intellectual Disability Diversion Court on three damage charges.

Afrasiabi was remanded despite having complied with his bail conditions and indications that the alleged offences happened at a time when he was having an adverse reaction to a medication.

He was charged after allegedly throwing rocks through windows.

In his ruling, Justice Hall said reports found Afrasiabi's condition "affected how he processed information" and "restricted his ability to understand and communicate".

However, Justice Hall said, "somewhat surprisingly", the magistrate had "assumed that (the man's) unwillingness to engage was him 'playing games', rather than being symptomatic of his condition".

Justice Hall also highlighted comments by the magistrate about "the need for a consequence" in relation to the charges the man was facing, saying he "had not yet entered pleas to the charges, let alone been convicted of them".

"The power to grant or revoke bail is a significant one," Justice Hall said.

"No person, least of all a mentally disabled and vulnerable person, should be capriciously deprived of their liberty.

"Nor should revocation of bail ever occur as a pre-emptive punishment for an offence of which an accused has not yet been convicted."

The charges will be heard in the Intellectual Disability Diversion Court at a later date.

from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-27/co...