Dr Saal Seneviratne Expert Witness in Psychiatry

Criminal Matters

Private & LAA accepted

Mental Health Assessments

I tend to do these via videolink with prisons far more than 5 years ago. The main rate limiting step is getting access to the IMR, and the GP records. In many of these cases, third party information is really valuable, say from a family member.

The IDPC is another invaluable tool for establishing the health of the defendant.


Fitness to Plead

This is one of my busiest areas of work. Apart from the Pritchard Criteria, there are a number of other important considerations, such as whether the defendant can be a meaningful participant in his trial.

Fitness to plead and stand trial, is more often than not, reversible or temporary. If the Courts and the CPS are aware that it is reversible, it is less likely that the CPS will commission their own report and slow down the proceedings.  However with bailed defendant’s, they may not seek out treatment, and in some areas, the NHS cannot provide a pathway of care, so defendants may return to Court, untreated. 

Mitigation & Sentencing

My opinions on mitigation always makes reference to the Sentencing guidelines. The report addresses the client’s mental health, its relevance to the offence committed, and its potential impact on culpability and sentencing.Probation often want sight of it before before the PSR (Pre-sentence report).

The aim is to present mitigating factors that help the Court to decide on the defendant’s moral blameworthiness and help to provide a fair and proportionate sentence.