Killer denied bail after court hears of threat

By: Jasmin Lill

A MENTALLY ill man who escaped trial for killing his former de facto in 1995 has been refused bail after he allegedly threatened to kill another woman.
In October 1995, Ross Mitchell Farrah was charged with the murder of his former de facto Christine Joanne Nash at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast.
But in 1996, the Mental Health Tribunal found Farrah was of unsound mind when he killed the 33-year-old, and he escaped trial.
Yesterday, Farrah, now aged 36, did not appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to face charges of telephoning another woman on Saturday and making the death threats.
Defence lawyer Angelique Clarey asked for the matter to be dealt with in Farrah's absence, saying she had been advised it would be detrimental to her client's mental health if he were required to sit in the dock.
Sergeant Michelle Clarke opposed bail for Farrah, saying he had killed previously, after threatening a former de facto.
She said he had now been charged with making threats to another woman and police feared he may act on those threats if released.
But Ms Clarey applied for Farrah's bail, saying that from 2002 to 2005, he had been in the high security mental health facility ``The Park'' at Wolston.
She said Farrah had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic but that his condition was ``under control''. ``He has been doing quite well and responding to treatment,'' she said.
Ms Clarey said Farrah recently moved to the Pine Rivers Mental Health Centre at Strathpine, where he had leave for eight hours each day.
She said Farrah's alleged victim in the latest complaint was a mental patient at another facility, and said that may be relevant as to whether the allegations could be taken as completely true.
Ms Clarey said that if released on bail, Farrah could be immediately transferred to the Prince Charles Hospital for further assessment.
Otherwise, he would be cared for by mental health services within the prison system, the court heard.
Magistrate Liz Hall said the allegations involved serious threats made by someone with a history of violent behaviour.
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``I don't accept that the seriousness is lessened because the complainant is said to have mental health problems,'' she said.
``The allegations are serious and should be treated with a great deal of caution, given the defendant's background.''
Ms Hall refused bail, saying Farrah would be an unacceptable risk if he were released.
He was remanded in custody until next month.
In 1996, Farrah left hospital on escorted leave to play indoor cricket, just a year after he killed Nash.
Farrah again made headlines in 2001 when The Courier-Mail reported he was allowed to play golf every week in the company of two psychiatric nurses.