Man who stabbed himself needs help instead of jail — (Buxton Advertiser)

SSRI Ed note: Man on antidepressants drinks, engages in serious self-harm, filmed. Judge believes man needs help not jail, not realizing "help" caused the problem.

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Buxton Advertiser

A DISTRICT judge has ordered that a psychiatric report should be written on a New Mills father who caused himself horrific injuries on New Year’s Eve.
At Chesterfield Magistrates Court, on Tuesday, district judge John Friel ordered the study be carried out on Lawrence Pender who admitted causing an affray and possessing a bladed item.

Angela Hadfield, prosecuting, said Pender was angry because his current girlfriend was having an affair with someone else.

After finding this out he was caught on camera cutting himself with a knife on Market Street in New Mills.

“The CCTV (footage) is disturbing. It is horrific viewing where he digs the knife into his veins and tendons,” added Ms Hadfield.

She said the defendant had received medication for depression since 1998, he had attempted suicide several times over the years and he had attended a psychiatric hospital.

John Bunting, defending, said his client knew he had a problem and had asked for help from his doctor a month before the incident.

“He is a man who knows he has got problems and does something about it.He has been constructive in asking for treatment as well as having it,” added Mr Bunting.

Before appearing in court this week Pender was in custody but Mr Bunting argued he should be given bail, because he wasn’t getting any treatment in prison – just anti-depressants.

He said the defendant had been drinking on New Year’s Eve but he hadn’t caused anyone else injury and he was a bigger threat to himself.

“It was an incident which was no doubt frightening for anyone who saw it,” said Mr Bunting.

“This is not a case where there will be a punitive sentence.”

District Judge Friel granted bail on the condition Pender lived and slept at his Watford Lodge home and he presented himself to the police if they called.

He was forbidden from contacting his ex-wife except to arrange visits to see his child, and he was told not to contact his girlfriend.

Mr Friel said: “I have seen the report by the Probation Service and I agree a psychiatric report is required here.

“These offences were largely aimed at yourself rather than others.”

Pender, 48, will be sentenced at High Peak Magistrates Court on March 8.

By court reporter