A Dundee man accused of severing a disabled woman’s hand lacked responsibility due to his mental state, Glasgow High Court heard on Tuesday.
Stephen Brisbane, 33, is alleged to have carried out the horrific Valentine’s Day attack on Sandra McGowan after wandering into her sheltered home in Charleston, uninvited.
The latest medical report, presented to Lady Margaret Scott, stated the accused is unfit to stand trial and could not be held responsible at the time of the alleged crime.
Previous psychiatric assessments matched this opinion, although another medical professional’s stance was that the accused was well enough to be tried.
A final decision on whether to proceed with a trial or order Brisbane to be treated in hospital is expected to be reached by the court next week.
At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, which was Brisbane’s fifth court appearance without plea, Advocate Depute Richard Goddard admitted the case had “dragged on”.
He said: “This is a case with somewhat of a history.
“The court instructed a further psychiatric report that was received on November 18.
“The opinion is that the accused is not currently fit and lacked responsibility at the time. This is contrary to an earlier opinion of Dr Gordon but in accordance with that of a Dr Campbell.
“The case has dragged on somewhat. The position is that the court may be able to make an order for treatment, but in absence of confirmation that there are beds available, the case would need to be continued.
“If the court comes to the decision that he is fit to plead, we would need to proceed to trial. It is of concern that the accused remains within a prison setting.
“There is an agreement from all parties that there is a degree of urgency.”
The court was told that Brisbane was “anxious” for the case to be resolved and he showed visible signs of agitation in the dock.
He is accused of entering Ms McGowan’s home, demanding drugs and money from her, searching her handbag and purse, stealing an electronic door fob, remote controls and a mobile phone holder.
He is further accused of assaulting the pensioner, causing her to fall from her wheelchair, seizing hold of her wrist and severing her hand with a knife, causing her to lose consciousness.
Prosecutors claim Brisbane then took the hand away, robbed Miss McGowan of a ring and failed to seek medical assistance for her.
He is also accused of threatening his sister with violence at an address in Dundee, demanding her mobile phone and stealing a phone.