Bankrupt psychologist suffered from 'persecution mania'

December 13, 2010
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A respected Jewish psychologist fighting his two-and-a-half year sentence for serious financial crimes suffers from a "persecution mania", the Court of Appeal heard on Friday.

Yehuda Crammer, 65, who was made bankrupt several years ago, is serving his jail sentence after admitting two counts of concealing property, imposed at Manchester Crown Court in June.

Crammer, of Danesway, Prestwich, Manchester, has already failed in one attempt to win a reduction in the sentence, but his lawyers were at the Court of Appeal in London on Friday to begin a second attempt.

His barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, told a panel of two appeal judges that new psychiatric evidence reveals mental problems which might justify a lesser sentence.

Mr Goldberg said he had received "a storm" of written instructions from Crammer's prison cell in recent weeks, which suggested his client was "manic", and a fresh psychiatric report had been obtained.

The new report, not seen by the sentencing judge or the judge who rejected his first appeal application, concluded that he suffered from a "litigious delusional disorder", with "querulous paranoia".

It meant he saw all judges and courts as being against him, resulting in him having fought his original bankruptcy, the QC told Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Mrs Justice Sharp.

But, after considering the new report, Mrs Justice Sharp said there was no way that the Court of Appeal could determine the case today and it would have to be put back.

"In our view, it would not be right for this court to deal with the matter today," the judge said.

"There is no application made to rely upon this further psychiatric report as fresh evidence and, accordingly, we consider the matter should be adjourned."

Crammer was prosecuted, and ultimately sent to prison, over his obtaining of more than £300,000 in credit in three years.

Mr Goldberg said the esteem in which he was held in his community could be proven by a collection which had been taken to fund his appeal bid.

No date was set for the appeal application hearing to resume.

    Last updated: 3:47pm, December 13 2010