High Court's William Bugmy ruling 'a good call?
It is always sad when a person's self-worth diminishes into a life of criminal activity or poor mental health but it is somewhat reassuring that the High Court has set a precedent and disagrees with the Criminal Court in that suffering does not diminish in time. Suicide and self harm rates show that mental illnesses which manifest later in life stem from entrenched personal issues—or negative mental tapes.
In the William Bugmy case before the High Court where lawyers for the defence argued that Mr Bugmy's cultural history should be considered in sentencing him for an assault on a Police Officer, such a conclusive defence was disregarded. The High Court did however agree to take into account Mr Bugmy's ill mental health in the decision making which, and like Mr Bellear (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/bellear-aboriginal-disadvantage-and-the-law/5011950) said to the ABC's Drum blog, the outcome is nothing new in determining sentences as many courts will consider mental illness, however to have the precedent set by a High Court judge means that in all courts the mental health and background of a person should be considered in the present. In respectful contrast to Mr Bellear I believe that this aspect of the case's outcome should indeed be celebrated.