I am a partner in a tiny south London firm doing mental health work. James Morton tells the story of the Nigerian man committing a fraud in north London, being convicted of murder and escaping the gallows only because of the moratorium on the death penalty. Mr Morton might be interested to know that this man became my client after he was transferred from prison under section 47/49 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to a psychiatric hospital. We acted for him in 2009 when he was living in the lap of luxury on a ward at St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton – a private sector psychiatric hospital with its own golf course, swimming pool and so on (I cannot remember where he had been before that). He always denied any wrongdoing, but clearly his transfer to hospital was because psychiatrists concluded that his version of events amounted to a fixed delusional belief and he was therefore severely mentally ill rather than a merely an inept liar. He had a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia if I remember rightly. I think he died in 2010.
Liz Arnold, David Ede Solicitors, London SE18