Ferrignon: Defendant’s ‘hysterical condition’

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THEODORE Ferrigon refused to come into court to face the woman he tried to rape seven years ago.

Throughout his trial for attempted rape and robbery the 24-year-old from Water Slacks Close, Woodhouse, sat in a small room next to the court.

On the first day of the trial Judge Michael Murphy QC told the jury Ferrigon was suffering from a ‘hysterical condition’.

“You will notice there is nobody sitting where the defendant usually would be,” he said.

“He is in a room adjacent to the court because he has a hysterical condition, that is not as such a degree that would make him unfit to be tried. But if he was present in court it could well create a distraction to the proceedings.

“He has been assessed by two psychiatrists and has been found fit to stand trial.”

Judge Murphy made the unusual order that Ferrigon be tried in his absence, but said he had the right to come into court at any stage of the hearing.

At the end of the trial he came into court and sat quietly in the dock - at times rocking backwards and forwards - as the verdicts were delivered.

Before he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment, he lay down on the floor of the dock.