Man who raped sobbing girl may be unfit to be sentenced

Rapist Alfred Sitters standing outside the Bundaberg Courthouse.
Rapist Alfred Sitters standing outside the Bundaberg Courthouse. Ross Irby BUN101017COURT2

A RAPIST who took advantage of a sobbing teenage girl may be too mentally deficient to be sentenced.

Early last month a jury found 33-year-old Bundaberg man Alfred Sitters guilty of raping and sexually assaulting the teen on a road.

But on Friday, Judge William Everson said a psychiatrist's report, dated October 30, found Sitter's "intellectual impairment" was a major problem.

The psychiatrist believed Sitters was "unfit to stand trial".

"Now, I obviously have serious concerns," Judge Everson told Brisbane District Court.

"I'm not in a position to sentence Mr Sitters until this matter's been resolved."

The psychiatrist had found Sitters had symptoms consistent with "mild to moderate intellectual disability" which led to complex behavioural trouble.

The psychiatrist said Sitters had a "high level of needs" and being in a regular adult jail caused "ongoing distress which already affects his already compromised function".

Judge Everson told Brisbane District Court the psychiatrist believed Sitter would benefit from a formal intellectual capacity test.

"The parties need to expedite things and resolve this unfortunate series of events."

The court heard Sitters' case might be considered for the Mental Health Court.

Judge Everson ordered a pre-sentence report, together with the October 30 psychiatrist's report, be released to the defence and prosecution immediately.

He also ordered the psychiatrist's report be released to the prison mental health service.

And the judge ordered that a further formal intellectual, capacity and "adaptive functional" assessment be obtained.

"I have no idea as to how long it takes for that type of report to be prepared, but it should be prepared as soon as possible," Judge Everson added.

"The reason I say I don't know is that, when I originally ordered the report to include a psychiatric assessment, I was told that it takes about a month."

"But I've now got that report and [it] did not contain the level of detail which I'm seeking."

After the jury found Sitters guilty last month, Judge Everson started hearing sentencing submissions but stopped part-heard, as the defence did not have professional medical evidence on intellectual capacity to put before the court.

Topics:  brisbane court buncourt editors picks judge william everson mental health mental health court psychiatrist

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