Mental health patient Albert Haines loses bid for release

Mental health patient Albert Haines (pictured) has had his bid to overturn his detention in hospital rejected by the first tribunal to be held in public.

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Mental health patient Albert Haines has had his bid to overturn his detention in hospital rejected by the first tribunal to be held in public.

The First-tier Tribunal Mental Health concluded that Haines should not be discharged from Broadmoor high-secure hospital. It cited his own health and safety, that he would pose a threat to others and that he would not be able to comply with treatment.

Haines has been detained continuously since 1986 when he was convicted of attempted wounding for attacking a doctor and a nurse with a machete at the Maudsley Hospital in London. For many years he was found to have a mental illness and a psychopathic personality disorder, though in 2008 he was re-classified as only suffering from the latter.

Haines had claimed that he should be given an absolute discharge on the basis that he is not suffering from either condition and would not pose a threat to the public, and that his aggressive and abusive behaviour arose from frustration at his detention.

Though the tribunal found insufficient evidence that he had a mental disorder, it concluded

that he was suffering from a personality disorder of a nature and degree that justified continued detention. It also found that appropriate treatment, in the form of medication and therapy, was available to him at Broadmoor.

Since moving to Broadmoor in 2008, after 16 years in a medium-secure hospital, Haines has failed to engage in therapy, and the tribunal concluded that he could only be released in future if he did.

The tribunal heard from Ann White, who was Haines’s social worker until April 2011.

“She described being unable to engage with Mr Haines, who would respond with abuse, and use aggressive, antagonistic and racist language to the ward staff,” the judgement said. “It was her evidence that in a hostel he would simply storm out and get into trouble.”

Though Haines had experienced repeated, “extremely unhelpful” ward moves during 2011, the tribunal concluded: “The frequency and intensity of the incidents of irrational, hostile, abusive and aggressive behaviour cannot simply be explained by understandable frustration at the length of detention or by a reaction to ward moves.”

It also found that he could be at risk himself if released from attacks provoked by his own verbal assaults and threats to people.

Listen to forensic social workers from Broadmoor talk about their role in one of Community Care’s podcasts

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