Robber wants federal prison time to get treatment
A surprise twist in the case of a 19-year-old who was to be sentenced Friday for a knife-point robbery she committed in April.
Camille Strickland-Murphy has asked Judge Pamela Goulding to give her more than two years in prison so she can go to a federal facility in Nova Scotia because she and her family fear she won't get the medical treatment she needs in her home province.
In May her lawyer, Peter Ralph, had suggested she be given a sentence of less than two years so she could serve her time in this province and be near her supportive family.
Crown lawyer Bill Carigan said Strickland-Murphy, who used a knife to rob another woman at a St. John's bank machine, should be sentenced to three years in prison.
Strickland-Murphy has dealt with mental illness most of her life.
The last time she appeared in court Ralph raised concerns that the psychiatrist at Her Majesty's Penitentiary, Dr. David Craig, would change her medication.
"I've been advised that Dr. Craig intends on changing my client's prescription while she is in custody, which is disturbing. Certainly, there is a number of psychiatrists who thought that a prescription for anxiety is important for her and she has been advised by Dr. Craig that he is going to stop that medication when she is in custody," he said on May 25.
On Friday, Ralph said that's exactly what has happened to Strickland-Murphy who has been in custody since her arrest.
Other inmates have complained in the past about Craig's prescribing practices.
His approach to medicating prisoners is currently under review.
In March 2011, the provincial justice minister ordered a peer review of Craig's work at the penitentiary but it hasn't reported yet.