Man bailed after health improves

A FORMER doctor who allegedly injected his mother with a paint and water substance was granted bail in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

Phillip Luke Sweeney, 57, who has been charged with one count of committing an act with intent to maim or disfigure, was applying for bail for the second time this year.

It is alleged on January 8 Sweeney entered a North Bundaberg nursing home and injected his 92-year-old mother with a paint and water mix in a syringe he bought from a chemist.

The court was told Sweeney had suffered from a mental illness for many years and had been held in custody since his first arrest.

Defence lawyer Hal Ing told the court he had been transferred from Maryborough prison to the Royal Brisbane Hospital as his mental state deteriorated in July, and he was still in hospital.

The lawyer said Sweeney’s doctors found his status as a classified patient was making it hard to continue his treatment.

“(Being granted bail) will leave him open to being transferred to other facilities,” Mr Ing said.

The lawyer said his client’s mental health had improved since the initial bail application.

But police prosecutor Senior Constable Dean Burgess opposed the bail application, saying there was a risk if Sweeney’s patient status changed from involuntary to voluntary he could check himself out of his care and re-offend.

“It is a low risk. But nevertheless it is a risk and I think he should not be able to leave hospital at any stage,” he said.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts said she was satisfied the defendant’s circumstances had changed and granted bail.

The case was adjourned until February 15.



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