20 Jul 2010

'Disgraceful' keeping unwell elderly man in custody

8:00 pm on 20 July 2010

Grey Power says it is a disgrace that an elderly man with Parkinson's disease and possible dementia is being kept in isolation in prison while facing assault charges.

The 69-year-old, who has name suppression, is accused of grabbing a woman in his care home. He faces two charges of indecent assault and one of common assault.

His lawyer, Michael Bott, says that Rimutaka Prison does not have the facilities to care for the man but that no one else is willing to.

Neither the home nor his family are willing to look after him, Mr Bott says.

Grey Power president Les Howard says the health system has failed the accused man. He says prison is not the right place for the man, who should be in a care facility.

Mr Bott agrees. He says health authorities are shutting their doors on the man in what he says is a disgusting state of affairs.

Under the three-strikes legislation, he says, his client is a prime candidate for the maximum prison term if his health leads to more offending and further convictions.

The man was again remanded in custody when he appeared in the Upper Hutt District Court.