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Terry Martin, second left

Alan Leitch and Robert McCormick have expressed their concern at the perceived leniency of the punishment of Terry Martin. (Mercury Letters, February 18)

The sexual exploitation of a very young girl is, of course, a dreadful thing but legal judgment and sentencing have to take into account all the factors involved.

Terry Martin developed a very severe, but well recognised, side-effect of drugs that he took in good faith for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). His legal defense relied on the referenced report of a world expert on the impulse control disorders (ICDs) and PD. This expert has published many papers on the subject in peer reviewed international journals.

Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs), such as hypersexuality and gambling addiction, occur in around 10-20% of people who take the dopamine agonist medications such as sifrol and cabaser.

Martin was prescribed and used both these medications. Medication induced ICDs, like other addictions, are associated with loss of control and insight, consequences cannot be seen. The affected person is simply not able to make rational, informed choices with respect to their actions, which are frequently destructive to themselves and others.

Terry Martin became a different person under the influence of these prescribed drugs.

When the issue of appropriate punishment is considered, it is undeniable that Terry Martin has suffered greatly and lost a great deal.

What good would have come from putting the recovered and remorseful Martin in prison?

Advice and help regarding the ICDs is available from Parkinsons Tasmania on 62292509 or 0407314933.